Betting preview: Man United vs Crystal Palace - Rangnick’s Red Devils to excite against Eagles

After Michael Carrick signed off his time at Manchester United with a win against Arsenal, Ralf Rangnick begins his tenure at Old Trafford with the visit of Crystal Palace.

Only five points separate Manchester United and Crystal Palace, but Patrick Vieira's side will be far happier than their opposition in terms of how their campaign has started.

The Frenchman took over the Eagles in the summer and has implemented a more possession-based style that has seen them rise to 11th in the table.

But, with Palace having failed to win any of their last three games, it's no surprise to see a resurgent United side priced as 4/7 favourites. They are unbeaten in their last three and will be buoyed by Ralf Rangnick's arrival.

When, where and how to follow

When: Sunday, December 2, 14.00 GMT

Where: Old Trafford, Manchester

How to follow: Visit our live centre with in-play odds and score updates

Best bets for Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

Over 1 goal in second half - 20/21

Conor Gallagher to be booked - 29/20

Manchester United to win and both teams to score - 11/5

Rangnick will be in the Old Trafford dugout for the first time on Sunday afternoon, and he takes over a side growing in confidence after Michael Carrick guided them to a draw against Chelsea and a 3-2 victory over Arsenal.

Therefore, I'm backing the German to get off to a winning start with the Red Devils, but a glance at recent results in this fixture suggests it might not be as easy as most anticipate.

That's because in the last four meetings between these sides, United have only won once, and haven't beaten Palace at home since 2017.

United's main issue is undoubtedly in defence, where they've struggled to build any kind of consistency.

Their 24 goals conceded in the Premier League ranks them as the fifth-worst defence, and one of Rangnick's main priorities will be figuring out who to deploy at the back.

He'll have less trouble figuring out the attack, though, and so I expect him to depend more on his stacked striking department to see him through his first match.

Crystal Palace, Gallagher, Zaha, Wolves, Premier League

That implies an open game, and one which will also suit Palace's trio of Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke and the in-form Conor Gallagher.

But, Palace have conceded a hefty 20 goals themselves. It all points towards a high-scoring clash, and I'm edging towards Manchester United to take the points.

Last 10 head-to-heads

Man Utd wins: 6

Draws: 2

Crystal Palace wins: 2

Man Utd goals: 18

Crystal Palace goals: 9

Second-half specialists

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring against Arsenal

Goals look likely in the second half, with both teams enjoyed finding the net after the half-time break.

United have characteristically found plenty of late winners this season, both in Europe and the Premier League.

But it's not just the final few minutes where they've had success, it extends to the entire second half, where nine of their last 12 goals in all competitions have been scored.

With Rangnick now in charge, the German coach will want to tweak and adapt his side at the break, so it's definitely a pattern we can expect to continue.

Additionally, Vieira has delivered some effective half-time team talks of his own this season, and similarly to United, seven of Palace's last 11 goals came in the second half.

Having already discussed the likelihood of goals aplenty, there's great value to be found in specifying the second half - over one goal in the second half on Sunday is an exciting 20/21.

Slowing the tempo

Conor Gallagher, Crystal Palace, Premier League, 2021

Much has been made of Rangnick's playing style in recent weeks, with most expecting him to implement a high-pressing style at Old Trafford.

Of course it'll take some time to bed in with the players, but they'll be keen to show their willingness to press, and we can expect United to come bolting out of the blocks on Sunday.

That's not a style that Palace have particularly dealt well with in recent weeks, and it could result in Vieira's side committing plenty of fouls to slow down the tempo.

Their 1-0 loss to Leeds last week is the latest example of Palace's pressing struggles. Marcelo Bielsa's side are famed for their relentless running and energy, and it was a tactic that not only earned a positive result, but also a game consisting of seven yellow cards.

Palace rank sixth in the league for tackles made, and that's naturally resulted in a lot of bookings.

Their primary offender, Joel Ward, is suspended for Sunday's game after picking up his fifth booking of the season, but Gallagher is following closely behind with four - including one in his last appearance vs Leeds.

As United look to flood the midfield and put him under pressure, he could again find his name being jotted into the referee's book.

Goalscorer bets for Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha celebtares

My first goalscorer tip is for Wilfried Zaha to score anytime. The former Red Devil had a nightmare spell at the club back in 2013-2015, and he'll be eager to show them his real talent on Sunday.

He certainly did on his last visit to Old Trafford. Back in September 2020, Zaha netted twice in a 3-1 win over his former side.

The 29-year-old has been in good form this season with four goals already to his name, and at 3/1 we're backing him to make it five.

As for United, Bruno Fernandes gets the nod. The Portuguese maestro started the season with an opening day hat-trick, but suffered an unusual dry patch recently.

However, he rediscovered his scoring touch against Arsenal midweek to net his fifth of the campaign, and a lively, open game suits his style perfectly.

READ MORE: The Rangnick effect! Man United in to odds-on to secure Premier League top-four spot

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