Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on February 25, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United take a depleted squad to Crystal Palace on Monday, as the Red Devils attempt to reclaim second place in the Premier League.

The Eagles had fought their way out of the relegation zone after losing their first seven league games of the season, but the Selhurst Park club is back in trouble, with the teams around them rallying.

United's away form has faltered in recent weeks, and manager Jose Mourinho will be hoping to avoid a third straight league defeat on the road after losing at Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United.

                        

Date: Monday, March 5

Time: 8 p.m. (GMT); 3 p.m. (ET)

TV: Sky Sports Premier League (UK), NBCSN (U.S.)

StreamSky GoNBC Sports Livefubo.tv

                      

Preview

SEVILLA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R) Paul Pogba of Manchester United, coach Jose Mourinho of Manchester United  during the UEFA Champions League  match between Sevilla v Manchester United at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on February 21, 2018 in Sevilla
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

The season has not developed how United would have liked it to, with Mourinho's side battling for second place while neighbours Manchester City streak to the title.

United fans have had to swallow their pride as the blue moon has risen over their city while the Red Devils have failed to entertain and endured some difficult performances.

None of this will worry Mourinho, who is typically focused on the bigger picture rather than popularity contests.

United have held the runners-up spot for most of the campaign, but the top sides have merged since the turn of the year. Liverpool and Spurs have crawled their way up the table in recent weeks. The former moved into second place with their win over Newcastle on Saturday, forcing Mourinho to look over his shoulder on the season's homestretch.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25:  Roy Hodgson, Manager of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park on February 25, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Palace staged a recovery after appointing former England boss Roy Hodgson as manager in September, but the south London club has been sucked back into the dogfight at the wrong end of the division.

As West Bromwich Albion struggle to stay afloat in last place, eight points from safety, the Eagles are in a scrap with eight teams that could all fill the remaining two relegation places come the end of the season.

Per Luke Brown of The Independent, Hodgson's early achievements at Selhurst were recognised when he was named manager of the year at the London Football Awards. However, the season could end in disappointment if Palace continue their recent form—they are without a league win since Jan. 13's victory over Burnley.

On Friday, Mourinho revealed his squad has been hit with injuries.

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho watches as Manchester United's Swedish defender Victor Lindelof takes a throw-in during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, nor
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Speaking to MUTV, the United boss said Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera will miss the trip to Selhurst Park.

Mourinho said the following of Fellaini, who has not started a game since United's UEFA Champions League defeat to FC Basel on Nov. 2:

"He's still a young player, his injury had a little surgery, but a minor surgery, and he will be back to play again in a couple of weeks.

"If we proceed in the Champions League beyond Sevilla, I think he will be ready for a hypothetical quarter-final. He will be ready for a hypothetical FA Cup semi-final. He will be ready for the last couple of months of our Premier League fight."

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Newcastle United at Selhurst Park on February 4, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Per Jim Sheridan of The Sun, Palace's Wilfried Zaha is on his way to recovery after a spell out injured but will not be ready to face his former club. However, Jeffrey Schlupp and Martin Kelly could return to duty for the Eagles.

Both United and Palace need to end the season with a touch of class, and the visitors will continue to be scrutinised if they do not succeed on away trips to lesser opponents.

As City get set to be crowned champions of England, the Red Devils must prove they are in a position to compete with their neighbours next term.

Sky Blues coach Pep Guardiola has validated his football philosophy's value at the Etihad Stadium, and Mourinho must replicate this success at the Theatre of Dreams or face a potential exit.

The Portuguese has done just enough to maintain the support of the Stretford End, but it is essential United win games convincingly down the homestretch.

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