United players celebrating Rashford's winner
United players celebrating Rashford's winner

Manchester United will host a Crystal Palace team who have been extremely poor this season, picking up only 39 points out of 34 matches, and so van Gaal’s men will look forward to extending their home form in the league to six consecutive wins.

However, LVG has six players who are right now going through the recovery process after being injured. The key players missing are Luke Shaw and Schweinsteiger, who are out for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, Phil Jones and Ander Herrera will miss out on the Crystal Palace match but could return for the FA Cup Semi-final clash against Everton over the weekend.

Here is the possible line-up we think van Gaal will opt for against Crystal Palace.


After yet another victory at Old Trafford against Aston Villa last weekend, most players will have the chance to keep their places. David de Gea is the first one who will be again entrusted especially in goal. The Spaniard wasn’t put to a big test in the recent week, so he will be looking for another clean-sheet.


Antonio Valencia is all set to retain his place in the starting line-up with the full-back playing a key part of the United defence in the Villa game. His impressive low pass to Rashford ultimately resulted in the Red Devils picking up all three points.

Matteo Darmian could come in place of Marcos Rojo in the left-back position. The Argentine hasn’t been impressive in his past few outings and Darmian has done well since returning from his shoulder injury.

Chris Smalling is expected to start in the heart of the defence, the Englishman has improved as a defender superbly this term. Smalling could be paired with Timothy Fosu-Mensah, despite Daley Blind being a key member of LVG’s defence this season, the Dutchman deserves his rest.

Fosu-Mensah has been brilliant since his senior debut and will be hoping to play more minutes before the season is finished.


Ander Herrera’s sudden injury rules the Spaniard out of contention for this match also which will again see Louis van Gaal’s options limited.

Morgan Schneiderlin will more or less continue in defensive midfield role protecting the back four, whilst Marouane Fellaini will be ready to partner up with the Frenchman once again.  He can be used further up the pitch and be entrusted with the task of being a menace for the Villa backline to deal with.

The Belgian impressed in such a role at Upton Park and with United desperately needing results by hook or crook, it is a tactic that is not likely to be frowned upon by supporters.


With a crucial fixture waiting for van Gaal this weekend, the Dutch manager will be expected to make some important changes to keep his side fresh. We may see Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial making a return to the line-up after being rested against Aston Villa, which would mean Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford on the bench this time around. Lingard would then return to the wings, a position he has being used in for most of the season.

Martial might get the opportunity to operate in a more central role which looks to be his favourite position.

Wayne Rooney was quite impressive in the number 10 role when the captain made his first league start for United since his injury. Memphis Depay could keep his place on the left wing after being a big threat against Aston Villa.


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