Manchester United vs Crystal Palace: Potential XI with Antonio Valencia and Juan Mata

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho will end a busy – and successful – September month comprising of seven games in 22 days with a number of injuries to contend with.

Paul Pogba continues to nurse a hamstring injury and no return date has been specified, while Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Phil Jones missed the 4-1 win over CSKA with injury.

Mourinho has expressed doubts over any of them returning for Saturday – Fellaini is the only player with a slight hope – but will be able to call on the services of Antonio Valencia and Juan Mata.

And with that in mind, here is how Man United could line up against Roy Hodgson’s side with the pair featuring on the right hand side.

Mourinho will want to see his side retain a sense of sharpness against Palace but it won’t be easy. The likes of Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku, Eric Bailly, Ander Herrera face a quick turnaround after completing 90 minutes in Moscow less than three days before and they will need to dig deep.

That said, the duo of Mata and Valencia on the right hand side could prove to be crucial. The attacking dynamic they offer often gets overlooked but they have shown a capacity to unlock back fours on a regular basis, combining Mata’s acute positional sense and craft on the ball with the Ecuadorian’s raw power to devastating effect.

And with Marcus Rashford on the other side, United will have plenty of firepower up top against the bottom club.

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