Manchester United bring down the curtain on their underwhelming Premier League season on Sunday when they entertain Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on the first anniversary of their FA Cup final win over the Eagles at Wembley.
In stark contrast to the fixture 12 months ago, there is nothing really riding on the result with United already certain to finish sixth in the Premier League and Palace having assured themselves of survival with a 4-0 hammering of Hull City last weekend.
Jose Mourinho has said he will shuffle his pack extensively ahead of Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm, meaning there could be a string of full debutants for the Red Devils.
MAN UTD INJURIES
Marouane Fellaini could face a race against time to be fit for Wednesday’s final after suffering a hamstring injury on his return from domestic suspension against Southampton on Wednesday. Timo Fosu-Mensah may also be available as he nears the end of his recovery from a shoulder problem, but beside those two players only long-term absentees Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are certain to be out against Ajax.
MAN UTD SUSPENSIONS
Since Fellaini has returned from the suspension for his red card in the Manchester derby there are now no bans for either club to concern themselves with.
MAN UTD POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Mourinho has said he will retain “four or five” senior players in his side to provide structure around a group largely taken from Nicky Butt’s under-23 squad.
Joel Pereira has already been announced as the preferred starter in goal to add to his single substitute appearance at first-team level, while Axel Tuanzebe should make a first start in his preferred spot at centre-back. Demi Mitchell and Matthew Olosunde have both been included in the senior setup of late and the former is likely to start at full-back.
Matty Willock could play in midfield after spending almost two months around the first-team squad, and Scott McTominay may add to his substitute showing against Arsenal with a first start. Joshua Harrop – who scored a hat-trick on Monday against Tottenham’s reserves – and Zach Dearnley are among those hoping to get a start in attack.
CRYSTAL PALACE TEAM NEWS
Sam Allardyce’s roller-coaster 12 months has seen him save Sunderland, become England manager, get the boot after a single game and then return to football to keep Palace in the Premier League. The Eagles’ survival was assured with the 4-0 win over Hull City, but in truth they have looked set to stay up for a number of weeks after hitting a decent run of form under Big Sam.
It took defeats to Tottenham, Burnley and Manchester City in successive games to drag them back down into the mix, but with their place in the top flight secured for another season, Allardyce could make a few changes himself this weekend.
Unsurprisingly, Christian Benteke has been their main man this season, and his 15 goals have been a very large part of the reason Palace had enough to stave off the drop in the end. Expect him to line up as usual at Old Trafford, even if a repeat of his spectacular goal for Liverpool at the Theatre of Dreams last season might be a bit too much to ask!
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
Manchester United have played Crystal Palace 15 times in the Premier League and have never lost (W12 D3). The only side they have played more without tasting defeat is Charlton (16, W14 D2).
The Red Devils have won each of their seven Premier League home games against Crystal Palace; only against Wigan have they got a longer 100% record of such kind (8).
Jose Mourinho is unbeaten against Sam Allardyce in the Premier League (W7 D3); only against Mark Hughes has the Manchester United manager won more top-flight contests (8).
Manchester United have won 16 of their 24 final day matches in the Premier League (D6 L2) – the most wins in the competition.
Jose Mourinho will be overseeing his 250 th Premier League game as manager, making him the 22nd manager to achieve this feat. Of those to make this milestone, Mourinho will have the most wins (currently 157 from 249 games) and five more than Alex Ferguson (152/250).
Regardless of the result of this match, Manchester United have won the fewest number of games in a single Premier League season (currently 17) – worse than their tally of wins in both 2013-14 and 2015-16 (19 wins).
Christian Benteke has scored in his last two Premier League trips to Old Trafford, but both have ended in 1-3 defeats for his side.
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
The game at Old Trafford kicks off at 15:00 UK time, with no live television coverage in the UK.