Back Red Devils to edge tight affair: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United Preview
Crystal Palace take on Manchester United in the Premier League’s Monday Night Football. Infogol’s Analyst has previewed the game, using expected goals to generate the best bets.
Crystal Palace Expected Goals (xG)
Crystal Palace find themselves in the bottom three after the weekend’s results, and are coming into this game without a win in five matches. Their 1-0 defeat to Tottenham last time out was exactly what they deserved as they showed little ambition in attack, while conceding plenty of good chances in defence (xG: CRY 0.2 – 1.8 TOT).
According to Infogol’s expected goals table (before the weekend’s action), Crystal Palace have actually been the seventh best team in the league this season, so are unlucky to be in a relegation battle. Their attacking process is normally very good, and they are one of only two teams outside the top six to have a positive expected goal difference (xGD), but that comes with a caveat.
Roy Hodgson has key players missing, none more so than Wilfried Zaha who has been their second most productive player this season (expected goal involvement of 8.0). He remains on the sidelines, which is a big blow, as Palace are yet to win a game without him this season from eight attempts.
Manchester United Expected Goals (xG)
Manchester United find themselves in third place after Liverpool’s win at the weekend, but there was a good result for them in Manchester on Sunday, as City beat Chelsea who remain six points behind United.
United’s win against Chelsea last week was a fortunate one, as they were second best according to expected goals (xG: MUN 1.3 – 1.8 CHE), but this has been the story of their season so far, as they have been more clinical than would be expected of them from the chances they have created.
They do give teams a chance in matches though, and had it not been for some poor finishing from opponents and some excellent goalkeeping so far this season, they may have found themselves in a similar position to Arsenal – who have actually been better than them this season according to expected goals. To concede only 20 goals when you are expected to have conceded closer to 38 (37.5 xG) suggests luck – and David de Gea - is on their side.
Manchester United are expected to win this game against a depleted Crystal Palace side, but it might not be a straightforward victory. Palace should put up a good fight, and a narrow away win in a low-scoring game is expected.
Under 2.5 goals @ 17/20
Manchester United to win 1-0 @ 5/1