Manchester United are back in action on Wednesday night when they face Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
Erik ten Hag’s men have been in superb form over recent weeks, winning every game across all competitions since returning from the World Cup break. United completed a comeback win over Manchester City over the weekend, moving to within a point of the reigning champions, and they are now looking to get themselves back into the title race.
As things stand, United are nine points behind leaders Arsenal, and they can move to within six points of the Gunners with a win over Palace at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night, albeit Mikel Arteta’s men will have a game in hand. But even with that game in hand, momentum is a huge force in a title race, and United face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
While Arsenal will have a game in hand, United know they can end Sunday night within three points of the Gunners, and that would be huge for Ten Hag’s men, especially with their growing confidence. Though, there are two big games to win first, and heading to south London for the clash with Palace, Ten Hag may have two big decisions to make.
That’s because both starting defensive midfielders, Fred and Casemiro, are on four yellow cards apiece for the season. That’s significant, because one more yellow card for either player would result in a one-match suspension. It’s even more significant because a booking at Selhurst Park would mean Fred or Casemiro would miss the all-important Arsenal clash.
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if Ten Hag tries to go without one or both of his defensive midfielders against Palace. The most likely scenario is that the Dutch boss starts both before taking them off early in the game, as long as they do avoid getting a yellow card up to that point.
Both Casemiro and Fred have been vital for United so far this season, and Ten Hag will no doubt be sweating over the prospect of losing either key player ahea of the meeting with the Gunners.