United Briefing: Fred out to storm the Palace
Manchester United midfielder Fred is keen to avenge the Reds’ opening-day defeat to Crystal Palace when the sides meet again at Selhurst Park on Wednesday.
The Eagles ran out 3-1 winners in September at Old Trafford, in what was our first Premier League game after a shortened summer break due to the involvement in European competition last August.
It was the second consecutive victory in M16 for Roy Hodgson’s side, after the 2-1 win in August 2019, meaning that, even though he didn’t feature in either game, our no.17 is fully aware of how dangerous Palace can be, although United will be strong favourites against a team sitting reasonably safely in mid-table, with 33 points from 26 games.
“Against Crystal Palace, a tricky team, we want to put right the opening-day defeat when they beat us at Old Trafford, so we want to be able to get one over them now, to get a victory against Crystal Palace,” the Brazilian, who celebrates his 28th birthday on Friday, told club media.
“We lost our first game against them at home. We know they’re a tough side. We shouldn’t have dropped those points, but we’re going to try to do everything to recover and get the three points.
“They’re a decent side, but we’re Manchester United and we must go into every game to win. Palace can be a very tricky opponent. They’re very tough opponents and we know about that. We also found it hard to beat them last season and that goes for this season too.
“As I said, we always have to go into matches to win, even more so if we want to keep our title bid up, so it’s a must-win game.”
Despite our recent toils against Palace at home, the Reds have a very good record at Selhurst Park, having last lost to the south Londoners there back in 1991.
The 11-match unbeaten Premier League run is the most one side has ever played away at another without losing in the competition and tallies with our overall form on the road, with the 0-0 draw at Chelsea pushing us past 20 games without defeat.
Fred is pleased with the away run but, perhaps with that Palace defeat in mind, insists we need to cut down on the slip-ups at the Theatre of Dreams, where he admits United are desperately missing the fans.
“I don’t know. It’s hard to say,” the former Shakhtar Donetsk man added, when asked to explain the discrepancy. “I think we’re playing very well away from home. We’re very compact and playing well as a team.
“I don’t know what’s happening to the team at home, but we’ve dropped some points that we shouldn’t have dropped.
“We’re working hard on that and we’re looking to give our all mentally so that we can play better at home and not drop any more points.”
“When we play there [at Selhurst Park], the atmosphere is very good,” Fred continued. “I think they really miss their fans, but I think that goes for everyone. We also really miss our supporters.
“Having 75,000 or 76,000 fans at Old Trafford was fantastic. We just hope that our fans can be back with us next season.”
It’s been another good campaign for Fred on a personal level, with the Brazilian making 31 appearances in all competitions so far and establishing himself as first choice in central midfield, alongside Scott McTominay, in the Premier League.
However, as we reach the key stage of the season and with the Reds still fighting on three fronts, he is hoping to help bring our four-year silverware drought to an end.
“I’m very pleased to be playing regularly now and helping the team achieve our targets at United. I hope to keep giving my best and playing well, as I’ve been doing.
“What I want most is to win trophies with United. I think that’s the most important thing. I hope we can manage that this season and I’m sure I’ll be even happier if we win trophies here at United.”
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hold a press conference to preview Wednesday’s trip to Crystal Palace, at 12:30 GMT.
You can watch live in our Official App, on ManUtd.com and MUTV, as the boss reveals the latest from the camp ahead of another crunch Premier League game.
Will Edinson Cavani be fit to play after missing the last four fixtures? Hopefully Ole will give us a steer on the team news and more.
Voting also opens for our Goal of the Month competition for February, with 12 strikes nominated from across our Men’s, Women’s, Under-23s and Under-18s sides.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
We launched the Player of the Month vote for February, with four Reds contesting the vote. Don’t forget to cast your nomination in our Official App.
As we rounded up the reaction to Chelsea and also looked ahead to Palace, with an in-depth preview, there was also a look to the week ahead, as well as a detailed review of how several of the Reds’ loanees got on at the weekend.
Finally, the latest episode of UTD Podcast – featuring Women’s star and USA international Tobin Heath – was released. Listen to it now, on all of your favourite podcast platforms.