Predicted Manchester United line-up v Crystal Palace

Manchester United will take on Crystal Palace on Sunday in Ralf Rangnick’s first game in charge.

The interim manager held his press conference on Friday morning and made clear what he wanted to see from his players.

Rangnick told the club’s official website: “If you want to win games you have to have control no matter if the other team has got the ball or you are in possession of the ball yourself. This is probably one of the major targets in the next couple of weeks, to help the team to have control on the game, and at least against the top teams in the last couple of weeks.”

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

How will this impact United’s selection?

The easiest way for Rangnick to implement his instructions is to add an extra man to United’s midfield, in an effort to help the team control the game.

It is likely United line-up with a 4-3-1-2 formation, similar to the 4-2-2-2 he utilised at RB Leipzig.

With Nemanja Matic missing the squad against Arsenal through injury, and Paul Pogba still out, then it will be Donny van de Beek coming into the midfield.

Van de Beek is a very technical player who should thrive in Van de Beek’s system, and he will form a three man midfield with Fred and Scott McTominay like against Villarreal – except on this occasion they will have Bruno Fernandes in front of them.

This means there will be one less attacker. Anthony Martial started against Villarreal and he is unlikely to start this game. He was subsequently replaced in the starting line-up by Marcus Rashford against Chelsea and Arsenal, and despite his assist for Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal on Thursday night, he did very little in either game, and so he will be the one to drop out.

Jadon Sancho would then partner Cristiano Ronaldo up front, in a flexible role which could allow him to drop alongside Fernandes and make it a 4-3-2-1 formation instead of a 4-3-1-2.

Who starts in defence?

Ralf Rangnick could make changes at the back, but in this match against Palace we would suspect he sticks with the defence which featured against Arsenal – with just one change.

The change will see Aaron Wan-Bissaka return from his hand injury to replace Diogo Dalot.

Dalot did not do anything wrong against Arsenal, but the prospect of facing tricky Palace winger Wilfried Zaha could be a bad match-up for him. Wan-Bissaka knows his former teammate and will hope to stand a better chance of shutting him down.

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