Home » Match Centre » MATCH PREVIEWS » Manchester United v Crystal Palace Preview: Macheda And Pogba Should Impress

Manchester United v Crystal Palace Preview: Macheda And Pogba Should Impress

published :

Manchester United will be looking to get over the weekend’s disappointment of drawing at home to Newcastle United by defeating Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup and reaching the competition’s semi-finals.

United have done well in the Carling Cup in recent years winning the competition three times in the last five seasons. The competition gives our young players first-team experience and gives players coming back from injury and those on the periphery on the squad a chance to put their hand up and show Sir Alex Ferguson what they’ve got.

Championship side Crystal Palace managed by their former player Dougie Freedman will want to impress on the big-occasion and at the very least give their fans a night to remember at a ground that they have not visited since the autumn of 2004 when United strolled to a comfortable 5-2 league victory.

Palace have been going well this season and after defeating Crawley in the first round of the competition in August, have worked hard to earn a trip to Old Trafford after defeating Roberto Martinez’s Wigan and fellow Championship sides Middlesbrough and Southampton at Selhurst Park.

Despite being a healthy 10th in the Championship table, Palace’s form has been sketchy of late with their last league win coming in October away to Ipswich. Disappointingly they are without a goal in their last 5 league games, which will be a stat that Freedman will be far from happy with.

So what can we expect from tonight’s game. What will be the key battles on the pitch? 

Ezekiel Fryers v Sean Scannel

Ezekiel Fryers has looked the part in United’s Carling Cup campaign looking assured in defence away to both Leeds and Aldershot. The game represents a chance for him to impress again and get another 90 minutes of experience under his belt.

One of Palace’s players to watch on the night will be the highly-rated Sean Scannel who despite being only 21 already has over 100 league appearances at the club to his name. His great strengths are his pace and his ability to roam out wide.

Paul Pogba v Darren Ambrose

Young French midfielder Paul Pogba is highly rated at Old Trafford and he will be one of the youngsters who United’s fans will be keeping an eye on the game tomorrow. Strong in the tackle and good on the ball, he looks a real prospect for the future.

Great things were predicted for Palace’s Darren Ambrose over the last decade but the midfielder hasn’t quite reached the levels in the game that he perhaps should have reached. This is a game for him to show his doubters he’s ‘still’ got it.

Federico Macheda v Anthony Gardner

Being a striker at Old Trafford has proven to be a difficult task for many young forwards who have often left the club to try their luck elsewhere after few first-team opportunities. Federico Macheda may soon join that list if he wants to play football more regularly.

The young Italian has fantastic ability and needs games under his belt to improve. He may go out on loan in January but tonight’s game represents a chance for him to impress again. Anthony Gardner will be looking to frustrate him and keep him quiet.

In terms of a prediction for the game, as I stated earlier on in a predictions article, I believe that United will win the game 3-1. Macheda needs a goal and I can see him getting on the scoresheet along with Park Ji-Sung if the Korean is selected. 

Freedman will want a good performance out of his squad on the big occasion and will want to see his side play on the attack giving the Palace fans value for their ticket and long journey up to Manchester, which makes for an entertaining game.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87