05-Mar-2018 19:02:49 | The Guardian
Crystal Palace: Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Tomkins, Van Aanholt; Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, Schlupp; Sørloth, Benteke.Subs: Lee, Cavalieri, Souare, Delaney, Rakip, Jach, Riedewald. Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelöf, Young; McTominay, Matic, Pogba; Sánchez, Lingard, Lukaku.Subs: Bailly, Mata, Carrick, Rashford, Shaw, Darmian, Joel Pereira. Referee: Neil Swarbrick
How Wilfried Zaha would love to be playing in this game. Since returning to Crystal Palace from Manchester United, the Ivory Coast international has been nothing short of a revelation: loved by the fans, feared by pretty much every right back in the land - he’s probably the best player in the Premier League outside the so-called Big Six (alongside Riyad Mahrez). But, along with a dozen others, he is still injured, meaning Roy Hodgson has to try and cobble together a side to face Manchester United tonight. When Zaha hasn’t played, Palace have lost all eight of their league matches this season, conceding 18, scoring just once.
But Selhurst Park under the lights is special. Soon enough, Palace will have a new stadium - or at least a gleaming glass/steel shell built around the existing stands - but these south London suburbs come alive at night. The fans are up there with the best in the league, and many teams have come unstuck here in the past. This season, Chelsea have been beaten here, Manchester City held to a 0-0 draw. Following Swansea’s revival in recent weeks, Palace have slipped back into the relegation zone but if they can hobble through a tough March without falling further behind (Manchester United home, Chelsea away, Huddersfield away, Liverpool home), they’ve got a pretty kind run-in with their last two games against the two teams below them: Stoke and West Brom. Woof.