MAN UTD are entering a new era as Ralf Rangnick takes charge of his first game as interim boss against Crystal Palace.
United have endured a tough season up until now, sacking club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a dismal run of games which left them with 4 points from 21.
They also struggled to assert themselves in the Champions League, though they’ve now qualified for the last-16 stage under Michael Carrick.
Carrick took charge in the immediate aftermath of Solskjaer’s sacking, but the club have brought in experienced German coach Rangnick, an idol to the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, to steady the ship until the end of the season.
And first up is Patrick Vieira’s Palace, who have lost their last two games against Aston Villa and Leeds.
Palace handed United a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford last season, and they’ll be out for more of the same in an effort to spoil Rangnick‘s first day on the job.
If United are to put up a last-ditch title fight, however, their home clash with Palace must result in a win, something they’ve struggled with against mid-table sides all season.
But on Thursday evening in Carrick’s last game at the club, United looked a better side as they beat Arsenal 3-2 in a thrilling clash at Old Trafford.
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- Rangnick’s first game in charge of Man Utd will get going from 2pm UK time on Sunday, December 5.
- Man Utd vs Crystal Palace kicks off at 2.15pm.
- Man Utd vs Crystal Palace will not be shown on live TV in the UK.
- Man Utd XI: De Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles, McTominay, Fred, Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford, Ronaldo.
- Crystal Palace XI: Guaita, Clyne, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell, Kouyate, Schlupp, Gallagher, Ayew, Zaha, Benteke.
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick insists the Red Devils don’t deserve to be that low in the Premier League table and is determined to help them improve.
Rangnick wrote in the official matchday programme: “Managing Manchester United, even in an interim capacity, is a massive challenge but, to me, this feels like I am in the right place at the right time. I have been here at Old Trafford before, as an opposition manager with Schalke in the 2011 Champions League semi-finals. I also visited Manchester while my son was at university here, and I am delighted to be back
“Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world. There is so much history here, so many titles won, so many great players produced and developed. Right now, I am here because development is what needs to happen again.
“Nobody at the club is happy to be where we are in the Premier League table. It has been an average season so far, there is no avoiding that, but this club has players who are much better than the position we currently occupy, and it is my job to improve those players and that position”
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira appears to have opted for a 4-3-3 formation with two changes to the team that lost at Leeds on Tuesday.
Vicente Guaita starts in goal with Nathaniel Clyne replacing Joel Ward at right-back and Tyrick Mitchell on the other side, while James Tomkins and Marc Guehi link up at centre-back.
Jeffrey Schlupp, Cheikhou Kouyate and Conor Gallagher link up in midfield.
Jordan Ayew, captain Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke, who takes Odsonne Edouard’s place, lead the attack
MAN UTD FORMATION
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has chosen the exact same 4-2-3-1 side Michael Carrick fielded during Thursday’s victory against Arsenal at Old Trafford.
David de Gea starts in goal with Diogo Dalot at right-back and Alex Telles on the other side, while Victor Lindelof and captain Harry Maguire team up at centre-back.
Scott McTominay and Fred link up in midfield with Bruno Fernandes at No10.
Jadon Sancho covers the right flank with Marcus Rashford on the other side, while Cristiano Ronaldo makes the cut after an injury worry and leads the attack
1 Butland, 4 Milivojevic, 7 Olise, 10 Eze, 12 Hughes, 14 Mateta, 22 Edouard, 34 Kelly, 44 Riedewald
MAN UTD SUBS
26 Henderson, 3 Bailly, 4 Jones, 8 Mata, 11 Greenwood, 29 Wan-Bissaka, 31 Matic, 34 Van de Beek, 36 Elanga
13 Guaita; 17 Clyne, 5 Tomkins, 6 Guehi, 3 Mitchell; 15 Schlupp, 8 Kouyate, 23 Gallagher; 9 Ayew, 11 Zaha, 20 Benteke
MAN UTD XI
1 De Gea; 20 Dalot, 2 Lindelof, 5 Maguire, 27 Telles; 39 McTominay, 17 Fred; 25 Sancho, 18 Fernandes, 10 Rashford; 7 Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo starts for Manchester United after all!!!
THE TEAM SHEETS ARE IN!!!
NICK OF TIME
Ralf Rangnick has taken over as interim manager of Manchester United until the end of the season, he will then undertake a role as a consultant for the next two years.
Rangnick is considered as the godfather of the ‘Gegenpressing’ tactic that inspired fellow German coaches Jurgen Klopp as well as Thomas Tuchel to glory.
This is a tactic that sees teams immediately fighting back for possession after losing it instead of falling back and regrouping.
The 63-year-old has previously coached the likes of Stuttgart, Hoffenheim and Schalke but reached fame during his two stints at RB Leipzig.
Crystal Palace are 11th in the Premier League table with six points separating them from the relegation zone and are another five away from seventh place, which usually leads to Europe.
Palace have amassed three wins and four losses in all of their 14 league matches – they have also scored 19 goals and conceded 20, which is less than Manchester United.
The Eagles will like their chances at Old Trafford as they have taken seven points from their last four league meetings with United, winning twice and losing once along the way – that is as much as they’d managed in their previous 23 against today’s hosts.
Patrick Vieira’s men have already experienced victory in Manchester this season as well as they beat Manchester City 2-0.
The last London side to win away against both Manchester clubs in the same campaign was Arsenal during the 1990-1991 season
MAN UTD STATS
Manchester United are seventh in the Premier League table with six points separating them from fourth place.
United have amassed six wins and five losses out of all their 14 league matches this season in which they have scored 24 times and conceded the same amount, that means David de Gea has picked up the ball from his own net more times than any other team in the top nine.
New interim boss Ralf Rangnick will want to be especially careful today as the Red Devils didn’t win either of their two games against Crystal Palace last season.
The Manchester giants haven’t gone three without a win against the Eagles since a run of four between 1925 and 1970.
And United have conceded in 15 consecutive home games across all competitions, which is their second longest ever such run, after a 21-game streak ending in March 1959
Manchester United and Crystal Palace’s first ever encounter took place way back in 1922 during a Second Division match that saw the former winning 2-1 at home.
Since then, the two sides have faced off a total of 59 times with United amassing a majority of 38 victories, compared to Palace’s mere nine.
But the Eagles won’t be short of confidence during today’s visit as they emerged victorious from their last two trips at Old Trafford – the visitors won 3-1 last season and 2-1 the year before.
In fact, the Red Devils haven’t beaten Palace at home since 2017 when they won 4-0, they went on to lose two out of the next three times they hosted Patrick Vieira’s side
GOOD AFTENOON FROM MANCHESTER
Welcome to SunSport’s live coverage of the Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
United are turning a new leaf with interim manager Ralf Rangnick taking charge for the first time after signing a six-month deal with the Red Devils.
But Rangnick is not without injury problems as Raphael Varane (hamstring), Paul Pogba (hamstring) and Edinson Cavani (tendon) are still sidelined.
Cristiano Ronaldo is also a major doubt as he hurt his knee during his signature ‘siu’ celebration against Arsenal.
Luke Shaw missed the last three games against Villarreal, Chelsea and the Gunners as he continues to recover from a head injury.
Nemanja Matic was also absent during Thursday’s win over the north Londoners due to a hamstring problem whereas Aaron Wan-Bissaka was ruled out with a hand injury and is facing a late assessment ahead of the clash against his former team.
Palace manager Patrick Vieira, on the other hand, will be without Joel Ward as he was slapped with a one-game suspension after he received his fifth booking of the season during Tuesday’s 1-0 loss at Leeds.
Vieira will also be missing James McArthur due to a hamstring injury whereas Nathan Ferguson has been out since January 2020 due to several injury issues.
Joachim Andersen faces a late assessment due to a hamstring problem that forced him out of international duty with Denmark in November