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May 23 2019 8.50am

Key clashes: Man Utd v Palace

November 22 2018

James Tomkins

James Tomkins

Hunter Young breaks down the key clashes as Crystal Palace travel to face Manchester United.

Following the international break, the Eagles face a tough test as they visit Old Trafford for a match-up against the Red Devils. United have endured a rocky start to the season and sit a disappointing 8th place below the likes of Watford and Bournemouth with a negative goal differential holding them back.

Despite recent moments of quality in recent defeats, Palace's form continues to be poor with this game finding them in 16th and only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

James Tomkins v Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial has been a key man this season, appearing in seven games and leading the club in goals. Additionally, the pacey forward has scored all six of his strikes in the last five league games making his red-hot form a terror for Palace. The Frenchman sat out this international round of fixtures as he recovered from a groin injury and looks set to feature against the Eagles after returning to training on Tuesday.

The international break came at a very good time for James Tomkins as it provided him time to recover from the knock that forced him off against Tottenham. His usual centre-back partner, Mamadou Sakho, was forced off with a back problem in Franceís game against Uruguay, and is a doubt. Tomkins is the organisational voice of the back four, and this will be essential with the likely replacement of Sakho with the capable but inferior Martin Kelly.

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Wilfried Zaha v Chris Smalling

Chris Smalling has impressed so far this season only missing one match while leading United in both aerial battles won and clearances made. The experienced Englishman recently made his 200th Premier League appearance this season as well as his 300th in a Manchester United jersey.

Another player who used the international break to recover from injury, Wilfried Zaha is in line to return against his former club. If the Eagles' talisman can channel his frustration from his failed move to United into an outstanding performance, it could inspire his teammates to a special result. Will be score against his old side? You can check the odds in sites like that gives you information and predictions. So if you're backing the start forward, check this out.

Cheikhou Kouyate v Paul Pogba

Similar to countryman Martial, Pogba withdrew from the French squad to recover from the knock that also kept him out of the Manchester derby. Despite not yet returning to training, media sources claim that Pogba is likely to play this weekend. Pogba has been the target of frequent criticism from manager Jose Mourinho and the media and will likely see his return from injury as a prime opportunity to silence some of his critics.

Cheikhou Kouyate had another successful international break, captaining his Senegalese side to another victory, and looks to be in line to start his fifth successive game for the Eagles. The tall midfielder will be key to limiting Pogbaís influence as he is the player best equipped to battle the physically imposing Pogba with his height and power.

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