This weekend sees Manchester United commence its Premier League (PL) campaign knowing that they can win a sixth consecutive opening day match for the first time since 1910. They scored 2+ goals in each of their previous four such victories, and also netted after the 75th minute in each of the previous three.
It’s worth remembering just how strongly United finished their PL campaign last season, having not lost any of their final 14 matches (W9, D5). Impressively, eight of their wins in that period were accompanied by a clean sheet. Additionally, they scored 2+ goals before HT in three of their final four PL home matches.
Crystal Palace managed just five PL away wins across all of last season (W5, D5, L9). Roy Hodgson’s men also conceded first in 12 (63.16%) of those fixtures. This coincides with the fact that they tended to be most vulnerable in the opening 30 minutes of these matches, suffering a negative goal difference of -6 (GF 2, GA 8) in that period.
The South London outfit also won just one of their nine away matches vs sides who finished in the top nine last season (W1, D2, L6), failing to score in all six of those defeats. That one win did come against United, although their two goals in that game are their only goals at Old Trafford across their previous seven PL visits.
Players to watch: Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has scored one goal, and registered a further three assists, across his previous three starts vs Palace.
Palace’s Jordan Ayew scored at Old Trafford last season, and two of his final three PL goals last season came in away fixtures.
Hot stat: Manchester United have won more PL penalties than any other side in each of the previous two seasons, averaging 13 each campaign.