Manchester United take on a Crystal Palace side who went to the Etihad Stadium earlier this season and handed Man City a 2-0 lesson before their fans.
Ralf Rangnick must be given time to implement his heavy pressing style but we’re still gunning for three points to push for the top four places again.
We caught up with Crystal Palace fan Jay from The Eagles Beak blog to talk about the Seagulls ahead of Sunday’s meeting at Old Trafford.
What are your initial views on Patrick Vieira as manager?
Jay: Patrick Vieira has been a breath of fresh air since he arrived in South London. It is no secret that he was not the first choice but his new ideas and shrewd appointments of backroom staff around him have all contributed to a better start to the season than many had hoped. Not only that, but he has us got us playing very good football which is very enjoyable to watch. There is no doubt that we remain a club in transition as there is a feeling that there are some additions still to be made by Vieira to make the squad his own and it all takes time, considering the timing of his appointment. It is a far cry from the football we were watching last season and it is refreshing but there are a number of things that need attention including defending at set pieces and conceding late goals, both of which has been our nemesis so far this season.
Why do you think Wilfried Zaha couldn’t get a look in at United, knowing how good he has been for Crystal Palace during both stints at the club?
Jay: “I really think Wilf revells in being a big fish in a small pond but looking back, his move to United was far too early in his career. He probably needed a couple more seasons at Palace but I am really suprised he has never been given another shot but one of the big clubs as he is a proven Premier League player. You do have to remember that Wilf was the last signing Sir Alex Ferguson ever made before David Moyes took over and he really was not a Moyes player at that time. Had Sir Alex stayed at the club as manager for another season or two, United may well have seen a different Wilf.”
After his bright start in the Premier League, I can’t help but ask you how has Edouard fallen behind Benteke in the pecking order?
Jay: “Edouard is a quality striker but the big thing is that he has provided compeition for places up front. We were very lightweight in that area last season but Benteke was in very good form in the second half of last season, heading into the European Championships where he secured a place in the Belgium squad as a result. Edouard is new to the Premier League and the club so he needs time to settle but the best thing about him is that he is a very different striker to Benteke which provides not only with options, but different options at that. Vieira is clearly a manager that picks his side based on the opposition so if he thinks Edouard would be better facing some sides from the start than Benteke, then that will be the case.”
It will be Ralf Rangnick’s first game in charge of United. What are you expecting from us on Sunday?
Jay: “It is difficult to know what to expect from United under the new manager, but we have to be very wary of the new manager bounce which has been very effective elsewhere in the Premier League so far this season – we were victims of Gerrard and Villa only last week! The German is well respected in the European game and it will be intruguing to see how we applies his methods to what is a very talented squad of players but with the appointment being short term and the fact that a new manager is expected to arrive permanently in the summer, that may provide its own challenges even though Ralph will be moving upstairs.”
Give us your scoreline prediction.
Jay: “5. There are a number of contributing factors to this one particularly with Palace looking for an unprecidented third win in a row at Old Trafford but with the new manager in place I’d be happy to take an entertaining point (2-2).”