Manchester United can keep up the pressure on Manchester City and Arsenal if they win this home tie against Crystal Palace. The Eagles look set to stay in the Premier League next season as they edge ever closer to the 40-point mark.
Louis Van Gaal will still be dreaming of finishing in fourth spot and somehow that dream is still alive. United bounced back well after their 3-0 annihilation to Tottenham and are now only four points off the qualification position.
Their last victory over Aston Villa relegated the Birmingham outfit and also bought them breathing space between them and sixth placed West Ham. Young striker Marcus Rashford was yet again on the score sheet, but now faces stiff competition from returning captain Wayne Rooney.
However, United need their teenage forward having scored seven goals in his last 12 games. United have looked refreshed since the youngster burst onto the scene and have won four out of their last six league outings.
Palace on the other hand have only one win in their last six Premier League games, but would have been happy with a point away to Arsenal last time out.
The Eagles have been far superior away from home this season. They have only lost five times on the road compared to the 10 losses they have suffered at Selhurst Park.
It seems Alan Pardew’s side have limped over the line and look set to stay in the Premier League next season. Although one more point would all but guarantee that.
United welcomed back Rooney to the starting line-up last time out and the club captain will be hoping for a successive start against Palace.
Defender Luke Shaw and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger remain out for the Red Devils, plus this midweek’s match has come too soon for winger Adnan Januzaj.
Ander Herrera should have recovered from a foot injury to push for his place in a much unsettled Manchester United midfield.
Palace will be lamenting their injury woes and have many senior players out until the weekend. Yannick Bolasie, Joe Ledley and Joel Ward all picked up knocks which look likely to force the trio out.
It is not sure whether Scott Dann or Dwight Gayle will be available either, with both players still recovering from minor injuries.
However, the Eagles may welcome back centre-half Brede Hangeland and midfielder James McArthur who are both almost fully recovered from their respective injuries.
League Positions: Manchester United – 5th (56 pts); Crystal Palace– 16th (39 pts)
Form: Manchester United – WLWWLW; Crystal Palace – LLDWDD
Previous Meeting: Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester United – October, 2015; Premier League
Key Players: Manchester United – Marcus Rashford; Crystal Palace – Jason Puncheon
Shoot Says: Manchester United 2-1 Crystal Palace