Manchester United are searching for their 10th win on the bounce on Wednesday
Crystal Palace are on a bad run of form after a defeat by Chelsea at the weekend
Manchester United have the chance to demonstrate their title credentials here
The odds for Crystal Palace vs Manchester United are from the BetMGM sportsbook, where a $1000 risk-free bet is available to all new punters.
Erik ten Hag’s team are going strong at present and we fancy their chances of coming out on top at Selhurst Park.
Back Manchester United to win the second half against Crystal Palace on Wednesday. (+110)
Manchester United are one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world. No team has been crowned champions of England more often than the Red Devils, who have also won the Champions League three times. So, in the grand scheme of things, being fourth in the Premier League is nothing to write home about.
Yet for the first time in a while, United have their mojo back. Without a Premier League title since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, the Red Devils are undoubtedly in the race this season: a victory in this rearranged fixture on Wednesday would move them to within six points of Arsenal in top spot.
Given that United are due to travel to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, they could end the weekend just three points shy of the summit of the standings. Needless to say, they have come an awfully long way since losing their first two games of the season to Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford.
Erik ten Hag deserves enormous credit for the job he has done at Old Trafford so far. United are seeking their 10th victory on the bounce in all competitions this midweek. They have not won more consecutive matches since way back in 2009, when Ferguson was still at the helm.
United are in the fourth round of the FA Cup, the knockout phase of the Europa League and the semi-finals of the EFL Cup. The best online sportsbooks fancy their chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League - and they could do even more than that.
A 2-1 triumph over Manchester City on Saturday boosted morale further. Ten Hag’s team conceded the first goal to the champions, but they showed considerable resolve to turn the match on its head. In the end, they were worthy winners - even if the first goal should have been chalked off for offside.
It was not as enjoyable a weekend for Crystal Palace, who went down 1-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Palace have now lost each of their last 11 meetings with the west Londoners, so the result was hardly surprising. But a club that once relished giving the so-called mightier teams a bloody nose has now lost five of its six games against members of the big six this season, the exception being a 1-1 draw at Liverpool in August.
Losing to the big boys of the Premier League is not Palace’s primary problem, though. The worry is that Patrick Vieira’s side would struggle to beat virtually anyone in the division the way they have been playing of late. Since the Premier League resumed post-World Cup 2022, Palace have lost three of their four matches without scoring a goal.
Indeed, the Eagles have lost their spark in forward areas. They are second-bottom of the expected goals table, with Bournemouth the only team in the league creating fewer chances. Not only are Palace struggling to fashion opportunities, they are not very clinical with the ones that do come about.
There is no need for panic just yet. Palace are still seven points above the bottom three and the fact there are numerous teams below them means it is still unlikely that they will be dragged into a basement battle.
But if results do not pick up soon, relegation could become a concern again. A shock win on Wednesday would boost the mood at Selhurst Park no end.
Whenever a team delivers a vastly improved performance after half-time, commentators wonder aloud what the manager in question said to his players during the interval. Given Palace’s poor record in second halves, it is tempting to wonder whether Vieira ignores his side altogether.
Only Wolves have a worse record than the Eagles in the second period of matches this term. We have seen this weakness manifest itself in recent weeks. In their last five Premier League encounters, Palace have conceded one goal from minutes 1 to 45, and eight goals from minutes 46 to 90.
For some reason, Palace appear to be unable to sustain performances after half-time. That looks like good news for United. Of the last seven goals Ten Hag’s men have scored in the Premier League, six have come after the break.
There is little point in backing in-form United to simply beat out-of-form Palace, so betting the moneyline is not the way to go in this one.
We believe tipping the Red Devils to win the second half instead offers much better value, especially when you dig a bit deeper and realize how poor Palace tend to be in that part of the game.
Teams: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United
Location: Selhurst Park, London, England
Date and Time: Wednesday 18 January 2023, 3:00 PM EST
How to Watch: Peacock Premium
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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