MANCHESTER United will be favourites to bag all three points when Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace visit the Theatre of Dreams today.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were impressive in their 1-1 draw at Wolves on Monday and United probably would have won had Paul Pogba not missed his second-half penalty.
Solskjaer will most likely stick to the same 11 that started at Molineux, with the speedy trio of Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial tasked to get the goals and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire responsible to keep the defence watertight.
There have been plenty of positives from United’s opening two fixtures in terms of performance as the players looked fit and eager and the hunger to win was obvious.
An interesting stat from the Wolves game was the average age of United’s starting XI being 24 years and 173 days – the youngest in the Premier League this season and their lowest in the competition since the final day of the 2016-17 campaign (22 years, 284 days v Crystal Palace).
The manager has put his faith in the youth players and it is slowly paying off. Scottish midfielder Scott McTominay, 22, was one of six starters under the age of 25, while 28-year-old goalkeeper David de Gea was the oldest in the line-up.
The introduction of Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira in the later stages of the Wolves game bears further testament to the Norwegian’s faith in young players.
Palace have made a stuttering start to the campaign. They have drawn at home to Chelsea and lost last week to newly promoted Sheffield United. They have not scored yet and created very little upfront as Wilfred Zaha looks like an unhappy player while an out of sorts Christian Benteke has been ineffective.
I think that United will romp to an easy win with Rashford and Martial on the score sheet and a riled up Pogba in his element.
Champions Man City were denied for the second game in a row by VAR (video assistant referee) when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Tottenham last week and will be surely looking forward to their match at the Vitality Stadium against Bournemouth tomorrow.
City played some breathless football and were totally dominant against Tottenham so they will be kicking themselves for dropping points.
Kevin de Bruyne is a player in magnificent form and looks to be back to his best. The Belgian has been superb for Pep Guardiola’s side with his vision and sublime passes.
Raheem Sterling is another City player who looks like he is enjoying his football. With 17 Premier League goals last season, three in one game already this term – there is no stopping Sterling.
The forward has had to endure plenty of criticism in his career so far, from the stands and in the media, but has managed to shut all that out to focus on improving as a player and proving those critics wrong.
Credit should be given to Guardiola as his coaching style has obviously made the City forward a better player.
City should have enough firepower to win this by the first half and with De Bruyne and Sterling on song, should bag full points at a canter.
Chelsea have yet to win under new manager Frank Lampard and will be under pressure when they visit free-scoring Norwich in today’s early match.
Norwich striker Teemu Pukki has grabbed the headlines with four goals in two games and will be looking to steer the Canaries to another famous win after his hat-trick heroics against Newcastle last week.
I am going for a high scoring draw as the Blues continue their search for a first Premier League win in the new season.