Manchester United travel to Selhurst Park for what will be one of the most intriguing Premier League fixtures on the docket for Saturday.
The Red Devils come in on a poor run of form, at least by their lofty standards. They've won two out of their last 10 matches across all competitions. Just when you think things can't get any worse for David Moyes, they do.
Palace, on the other hand, have played much better under Tony Pulis and own the 10th-best home record in the league.
With the respective clubs' differing fortunes, the playing field has been leveled a bit. Normally you'd favor United, but Palace could easily snatch at least a point.
Rather than any sort of mind games, both managers opted for the flattery route ahead of the match.
Moyes thinks that Pulis has silenced whatever doubters he has left, per BBC Sport.
"(Pulis) has showed all his experience," he said. "A lot of people were writing Tony off during his time at Stoke but he hasn't half gone in there and made a few people eat their words."
On the other side, Pulis thinks that it's only a matter of time before the luck starts breaking Moyes' way. Per The Independent's Andy Sims, Pulis said:
David has had a tough start but they have some fantastic players...
I've watched their last three games on tape, and they could have won them all comfortably. They just haven't had the breaks, that momentum to take them forward.
Last year under Sir Alex they didn't play as well as the year before, but they got the breaks.
This year they've not been able to pick up any momentum. But they have wonderful players and are a wonderful football club and we will be proud to host them.
Of course, those pleasantries will go out the window when the referee blows his whistle.
When: Saturday, Feb. 22, at 12:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. GMT
Where: Selhurst Park, London
Watch: NBC (US); Sky Sports 1 (UK)
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra (US)
Odds (courtesy of Bloomberg Sports)
Crystal Palace win: 20.9 percent
Manchester United win: 53.6 percent
Draw: 25.5 percent
Top Storyline: How Will Manchester United Combat Crystal Palace's Direct Style?
Two weeks ago, Fulham executed the classic smash-and-grab in Old Trafford. Darren Bent scored at the death to earn a 2-2 draw in what was one of the uglier performances you've seen from Manchester United in some time.
Moyes opted to fight fire with fire, pumping a total of 81 crosses into the box, according to Squawka.
Manchester United will face a similarly organized team in Crystal Palace. Pulis has helped turned the club's fortunes around by reverting to his tried-and-true defensive, direct style that served him so well at Stoke City. Palace will remain strong in defense and lump the ball up to Marouane Chamakh when the opportunity presents itself.
Moving through the middle of the pitch may be hard for the Red Devils, so they may have to resort to going over the top.
If the Fulham match was any indication, Saturday won't be pretty.
Until Moyes demonstrates that he can integrate all of Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie into the lineup, you have to wonder if United's attack can fully gel. This was always the worry when the club announced the capture of the Spanish midfielder.
Moyes has done nothing with Shinji Kagawa, who's another creative midfielder best played through the middle. How would he get the best out of Mata?
If United's attack does struggle to find fluidity, Moyes will be forced to adopt a direct style again, which will play right into Pulis' and Palace's hands. Scott Dan and Damien Delaney are both tall, physical centre-backs more than capable of heading out any danger.
Palace will also struggle to break down the United back four, leading to a scoreless draw.
Crystal Palace 0, Manchester United 0
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!