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Manchester United v Crystal Palace Tips: Back Fernandes to score ninth penalty for United

Bruno Fernandes features in our 4/1 selection for Manchester first league game of the season
Bruno Fernandes features in our 4/1 selection for Manchester first league game of the season

Manchester United will play their first Premier League game of the season against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford this Saturday. The visitors claimed a 1-0 win over Southampton at Selhurst Park last weekend and will be looking to build on that success against United. It could be an uphill battle for Roy Hodgson’s side, though, as they did not score in any of their last four away league fixtures at the end of last season.

There are fitness doubts around a number of Manchester United players with this week being the first that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had a full first-team squad in training. The fitness of Paul Pogba remains a talking point and there could be a full debut for new signing Donny van de Beek. Mason Greenwood has been in the press for the wrong reasons over the last few weeks and Dan James could start the game with the England international dropping to the bench. 

Eberechi Eze should make his full debut for Crystal Palace after coming on as a substitute last weekend. Michy Batshuayi is also ready to start the game if called upon after signing for the second time on loan from Chelsea. 

Having a look into the match prices and the bookmakers make the Reds the 1/3 favourites to win the game, an implied probability of 75%. The draw is available to be backed at 9/2, with a historic win for Palace priced at 10/1.

Below you will find my three football tips for the game which kicks off at 5:30pm and can be seen live on Sky Sports.

Wilfred Zaha 1+ shot on target - 1.5pts @ 13/8 PaddyPower / Betfair

Man United to score a penalty - 1pt @ 4/1 bet365

Anthony Martial & Jordan Ayew 1+ shot on target, McCarthy & Wan-Bissaka to be carded - 0.5pts @ 50/1 Paddy Power

The first of my selections for Manchester United v Crystal Palace on Saturday comes in the form of Wilfred Zaha to have one or more shots on target, priced at 13/8 with both Paddy Power and Betfair. The 27-year-old made a bright start to the campaign last weekend, and was on the scoresheet in his club’s curtain-raiser against Southampton. 

He’s a player who has plenty of running in him and is not afraid to get a shot away. He took a total of 61 shots across the 2019/20 campaign with no other player for Palace registering more. With Luka Milivojevic also set to miss out here I think there’s a chance that Zaha could be promoted to free-kick and penalty duty if called upon. At 13/8 this selection is mainly based around price - I think it’s too big. The same selection is priced at odds-on 10/11 with SkyBet, giving plenty of appeal to the 13/8, which I do think will shorten, from both Paddy Power and Betfair. 

Next up I’m backing Manchester United to score a penalty, priced at 4/1 with bet356. It was well documented last season that Manchester United received more penalties than any other team in the league. In total Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were awarded 14 penalties throughout the 19/20 campaign, scoring 10 of those. Since Bruno Fernandes arrived though, the Portugese midfielder is yet to miss one, scoring a remarkable eight spot-kicks in all competitions from January through until the end of the season. 

Martin Atkinson will be in charge of the game and he awarded nine penalties in total last season. The most recent of those was actually for United on the final day of last season when they beat Leicester 2-0 - Bruno Fernandes once again converting from twelve yards.

I’ve seen this selection priced at 5/2 from Betfair, so I'll be taking a bit of the 4/1 on offer from bet365 for Saturday’s game.

The last time these two sides met at the end of last season I managed to pick out a 66/1 winner which can be viewed here on our recent winners page. I’ve once again picked out something at a bit of a price, this time going for Anthony Martial and Jordan Ayew to have one or more shots on target, with both James McCarthy and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to be carded at 50/1 with Paddy Power.

Anthony Martial enjoyed his best season in front of goal for Manchester United in 2019/20. The Frenchman found the net 17 times in the league with 11 of those coming at Old Trafford. The 24-year-old averaged well over a shot on target per game at home last season, registering 22 on target in just 16 games. I’m backing Tony Martial to have another successful season and he’s the first name in this Same Game Multi for Saturday.

Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew featured in my 66/1 winner back in July and I’m once again throwing him into the mix for this punt. The Ghanaian forward took a total of 24 shots last season and I think he will start this game over new signing Michy Batshuayi. If there’s anyone to get on the scoresheet for Palace I think it will be Jordan Ayew.

No player was booked more times in the league for Manchester United last season than Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The right-back was cautioned no less than eight times throughout the campaign and he will be up against Wilfred Zaha on Saturday. In the whole of the Premier League last season, only Jack Grealish was fouled more times than Zaha (83). I’m hoping that extra bit of match fitness from Palace can lead to Wan-Bissaka forgetting his defensive duties and lead to him making a cynical foul when trying to get back. 

Rounding off this 50/1 shot is James McCarthy of Crystal Palace. Only Luka Milivojevic was booked more times for the Eagles than McCarthy last season and the former is not expected to start against United. In just 17 starts and 16 sub appearances, the Irishman was booked nine times in 2019/20 and with him likely to be chasing Bruno Fernandes for most of the game I fancy him to pick up another. 

Good luck to those following, I’d always advise using smaller stakes at the very start of the season as it can be often harder to find value in the markets when we have no form or trends to go off for the current season. As always, please remember to gamble responsibly

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