Manchester United’s home form has seen them win all three and not concede a goal while scoring ten goals in the process so the task that Palace face is clear but Jose Mourinho has claimed that a midweek trip to Russia followed by a Saturday 3pm kick-off may be something that is in Palace’s favour.
United are close to sealing a place in the Champions League knockout stages after the comprehensive defeat of CSKA Moscow in midweek but Roy Hodgson knows that their trip could be an advantage to his squad but there is no hiding the quality that his side will come up against.
“I don’t know if their schedule helps us at all. There’s never a good time to play United and there’s always a good time to play against United. I guess Jose will say it’s not ideal to be playing on a Saturday at 3pm after a trip to Russia, but they have a strong team on paper. The game is not played on paper though and we can only hope to give them a good game and any good luck going around will come our way”
In a difficult group of fixtures Hodgson concedes that his couldn’t take any positives from a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City but he has been impressed at the reaction received from the group of players he has taken charge of since coming into the club.
“The last two goals at City were wonder goals. There’s nothing positive to be taken from that result, you have to acccept we’ve been beaten by a better team. And let’s try to make sure it doesn’t happen again but it’s clear that fate hasn’t been kind to us with the fixtures we have at the moment.
“I’m always optimistic. I really enjoy working at the club, the players are responding well to the work we’re trying to do. We will continue to be optimistic and positive to put bad results behind us, and keep learning. One thing’s for sure, we will be working hard to stop United this weekend.
“We hope a lot of people have an off day on their side but you can’t rely on that as you can only rely on doing your job well, that’s all you can do," Hodgson told the assembled media at his pre-match press conference.