English Premier League

Crystal Palace v Manchester United: 7/1 shots wager could be bet of the season

Man United goalkeeper Andre Onana
Andre Onana looks set for a busy night at Selhurst Park

In-form Crystal Palace host an underperforming Manchester United on Monday night, and Mike Norman believes he's found one of the best bets of the season for you to consider...

Crystal Palace v Manchester United
Monday, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports

In-form Eagles host struggling United

It's not very often that you'll get a bottom-half team, with absolutely nothing to play for, favourites to beat a team that is still very much in the hunt to qualify for Europe.

Generally, it would be even more of a surprise that the team with nothing to play for and sitting 14th in the table - in this case Crystal Palace - would be favourites to beat Manchester United, regardless of where the Red Devils are in the table.

But that's what we are faced with here, and I think that says more about United than it does about Palace.

Barring a handful of games - the wins against Chelsea and Aston Villa spring to mind, plus a few decent performances against Liverpool - Erik ten Hag's men have rarely impressed this season and I consider them extremely fortunate to be even in the top half of the table.

Early season wins against the likes of Wolves, Nottm Forest, Burnley, Brentford, Sheff United, Fulham etc were all achieved by single-goal margins in games that could easily have gone the other way. A few goals here and there to the opposition and United are no better than mid-table!

United's recent form is also far from impressive. They've won just two of their last 10 games in regulation time in all competitions, and their last four Premier League wins all came against relegation-threatened teams, namely Luton, Everton, Nottm Forest and Sheffield United.

On the basis that United have largely scraped wins against bottom-half teams this season, even when performing below par, then there's every reason to suggest that they could do so again when they visit Selhurst Park on Monday night.

But Oliver Glasner's men are on a great run of form, and as a new incoming manager to the club there should be no reason he'll allow the Eagles' performances levels to drop now that they're safe. That certainly hasn't been the case in recent weeks.

Following a terrific away win at Liverpool, Palace have won back-to-back home games against top half teams West Ham and Newcastle, scoring a very impressive seven goals in the process.

Home win a fair price with Eze set to return

Sadly, for those who fancy Palace to win the game, the market has latched on to the fact that United are struggling for both form and with injuries, and the Match Odds has the hosts at just 13/102.30 to claim all three points.

I think that's fair. Ten Hag's men haven't won on the road in the Premier League for three months, and they go into this game with a plethora of confirmed injuries as well as some big-name players who require a late fitness test.

United's defence has been decimated. Injuries to Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof, Jonny Evans and Willy Kambwala have resulted in Ten Hag playing Casemiro in the centre of defence alongside Harry Maguire in recent weeks.

All bar Evans remain on the sidelines for Monday night's trip to Selhurst Park, and the 36-year-old could return to the starting XI after resuming training last week. Which is just as well, because they'll need him given Sunday's news that Maguire is now out injured for around three weeks!

Of more concern - or perhaps not given his form this season - to United fans is the likely absence of Marcus Rashford who is struggling to shake off an ankle injury, while both Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay are rated doubts to make the starting XI.

Given the above, it's easy to understand why United are the slight outsiders at 15/82.88 to win the game with the Draw being available to back at 11/43.75.

Match Preview

Crystal Palace - Man Utd
Crystal Palace
  1. W
  2. W
  3. W
  4. D
  5. W
  6. W
Man Utd
  1. W
  2. W
  3. L
  4. L
  5. D
  6. W
Full Stats Powered by Opta

And perhaps another reason why the odds are in the Eagles' favour is the fact that Glasner declared Eberechi Eze fit for the game in his Friday press conference, while England international Marc Guehi is also set for a return to action following a two-month injury absence.

All things considered then, with Palace in great form at Selhurst Park of late, and their injury news looking far more upbeat than United's, I have to suggest a home win as the likely outcome to the game.

It's also worth reminding you that Palace won the reverse of this fixture 1-0 earlier in the season, and that they're unbeaten in their last three games against United on home soil.

Shots market provides best bet of the season

Without reading a little further down, hats of to anyone who knows what this sequence of numbers represents: 20-28-31-27-22-23.

I'll give you a clue. It relates to Manchester United's last six Premier League away games.

Well done if you said that those are the number of shots Ten Hag's men have faced in those particular matches. Incredibly, they actually won two of those games - Aston Villa and Luton - and still conceded 45 shots combined.

Alarmingly, that 31 number came against an out-of-form Brentford side, while United conceded 28 shots to a then mid-table Chelsea team.

Those numbers are just incredible to me, and it just highlights how United's midfield can be so easily cut through allowing opposition players to shoot at will or set up some great goalscoring chances.

On the Betfair Sportsbook, Crystal Palace are 7/18.00 to register at least 25 shots on Monday night, and given their form, and the fact that dynamic duo Eze and Michael Olise are both set to start, I think that's an unbelievable price.

To put it into perspective, those last six United away games mentioned above, Ten Hag's men conceded a total of 151 shots. That's an average of 25.17 shots per game.

And here we can back Palace to at least match that average of 25 shots at 7/18.00, an in-form Palace team may I add that will be close to full strength, against a United side plagued with injuries to their defence and midfield.

I'm calling it now, it's my best bet of the whole season. Win or lose, that price just looks wrong to me.

Back Crystal Palace to have 25 Or More Shots @ 7/18.00

Bet here

If you're not quite as brave as me then consider Palace to have at least 22 shots in the game at 3/14.00. That's three above the average shots United have conceded in their last six Premier League away games, and it's a bet that would have landed in five of those six matches

Just one slight negative is that in Palace's last two home games, they averaged exactly 19 shots per game.

But consider those matches were against West Ham and Newcastle, both of whom I'd consider to have stronger backbones to their team than United, then I'm confident that the Eagles can add a few more shots to their recent tally.

Back Crystal Palace to have 22 Or More Shots @ 3/14.00

Bet here

Now read more Premier League tips and previews here.

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Mike's 2023/24 Profit/Loss

Staked: 44 pts
Returned: 52.84pts
P/L: +8.84 pts

*Based on 2 pts win main bet (first listed or only bet), 1 pt win all other bets


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.