Manchester United’s latest stab at breaching the Premier League top four comes at Selhurst Park on Thursday as they face Crystal Palace.
A late leveller from Southampton’s Michael Obafemi last time out meant United passed up the chance to leapfrog both Leicester and Chelsea for a spot in the Champions League places.
The 2-2 draw at Old Trafford also means that the pendulum swings back the way of Chelsea, who have a 4 point cushion over 5th placed United and 4th placed Leicester respectively.
With the Foxes being Manchester United’s opponents on the final day of the campaign, a full allocation against Palace is of paramount importance in the Champions League chase.
The Eagles meanwhile have no such goal to aim for, with the club mathematically safe from relegation this season and out of the running for Europe.
However, the carrot for Roy Hodgson’s side here is to arrest their woeful Premier League form of late, which has seen Palace lose their last 5 top flight matches.
Doing so against a United side who haven’t lost post-restart will be challenging, and leaving Selhurst Park empty handed could spell a gloomy conclusion to the season with Wolves and Tottenham still to play.
A 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa in Palace’s last encounter saw striker Christian Benteke sent off against his former club, so the Belgian won’t feature against Manchester United.
Defensive issues still remain for Roy Hodgson, with James Tomkins, Jeff Schlupp and Gary Cahill all sidelined.
For Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s left back ranks were depleted in the draw with Southampton, with both Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams picking up injuries.
Shaw appeared to have trouble with his ankle, whilst the younger Williams suffered a nasty gash to the eye – if both are unavailable, that leaves Diogo Dalot as the most viable option.
United will have felt aggrieved that Saints’ Oriol Romeu escaped punishment for a horrendous challenge on star young striker Mason Greenwood – it’s unknown whether the teenager has recovered from the tackle.
Crystal Palace v Manchester United is an 8.15pm kick off on Thursday, July 16.