After that much-needed and deserved win against an all-confident Tottenham side past weekend, Manchester United will shift their attention to this busy schedule of the Premier League, as a trip to the Selhurst Park is scheduled for the Reds.
The Devils needed a motivating figure to break down the stubborn Tottenham defence last time out and Ander Herrera was at his best to serve the cause and Henrikh Mkhitaryan was on target to give United an early lead. The goal was enough to seal the victory and hand Tottenham their second defeat of the season, but this is the time where it gets busy.
While the players around the other leagues will be celebrating the festive month, the Premier League personals will be engaging themselves for a hectic schedule during the course.
A trip to Selhurst Park is never easy and looking at United’s past record, they will have to battle it hard, as the last time they visited the venue, they ended up playing a dull 0-0 draw against the Eagles. But looking at the recent form, United have an upper hand as they have won four of their last six games (in all competition) and have played two draws, while Palace have won just once and have lost four.
Here is how Mourinho might line his team up:
The first name on the teamsheet in the crunch game like this, De Gea will be a sure starter in the game and will be looking forward to keep his sixth clean sheet in the League, but looking at the rate how Palace have been scoring goals, he surely has a tough task to complete.
Now this is the spot where the manager might shuffle his team up, as Antonio Valencia is suspended for the trip. And with that being said, the manager might shift Matteo Darmian on the right, but the Italian defender will have to be on his toes as he will be facing Wilfried Zaha, who is currently cruising in the League.
The centre-back pairing might be of Bailly and Jones and both the centre-halves will have to be aware of the long-ball tactic Alan Pardew will be deploying. It is no secret that Benteke will be a target man for the Eagles and looking at his physical presence in the box, both the centre-halves are going to have a hard time.
The left spot might be acquired by a much confident Marcos Rojo. The Argentine has revived his career under Mourinho and looking as a serious contender for the spot. Andros Townsend will be plying his nails on that flank, hence a tough task for the Argentine.
Fellaini might not be a fan favourite, but he certainly is a one to choose for the manager. Mourinho might look to offer Michael Carrick a much-needed rest and in that case, Fellaini might step up. Schneiderlin too is an option to consider, but speaking practically, the Frenchman has completely lost his place; hence, Fellaini.
His partner in crime would be the Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera, who dominated the central area against the Lilly-Whites all by himself and is undroppable for the manager.
Another spot where we might see a change in the personnel. Mata didn’t play the previous fixture and with Mkhitaryan set to miss the game, the manager might opt to go with the Spaniard on the flank.
Pogba will surely be deployed as an attacking midfielder and will be up against a gigantic Joe Ledley. He is getting back to his best game after game and this is the perfect time for him to prove his worth to the manager and the fans.
Then the left flank might be occupied by Jesse Lingard, who scored the winner against the Eagles in the FA cup final last term. Martial will most probably be rested for the game, hence, Lingard would be a perfect deputy.
The one and only! The 35-year-old will surely be leading the lines for the side and will be looking to impose his threat early in the game, but his task can be cut short as he will be facing Scott Dann and Damien Delaney.