Mark Lawrenson predicts outcome of Man United v Crystal Palace

Mark Lawrenson is tipping Manchester United to ease to a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday

Cristiano Ronaldo Man United
Cristiano Ronaldo (Photo: MUTV)

Mark Lawrenson is predicting that Manchester United will ease to a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Red Devils battled to a 3-2 victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford on Wednesday night despite falling behind to Emile Smith Rowe’s controversial opener.

Bruno Fernandes equalised before Cristiano Ronaldo edged Manchester United into a slender lead with incoming interim manager Ralf Rangnick sat in the stands.

Martin Odegaard levelled for the visitors before the Norway international brought down Alex Telles to concede a 70th-minute penalty, which was dispatched by Ronaldo.

Manchester United have won two of their three games under caretaker manager Michael Carrick since the Red Devils parted company with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last month – but Rangnick will take charge of this weekend’s game.

Crystal Palace are winless in their last three Premier League games to undermine some promising performances under Patrick Vieira.

The Eagles are in 11th position and six points above the relegation zone following a return of 16 points from 14 games.

BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is backing Manchester United to register a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday.

“Ralf Rangnick takes charge of Manchester United for the first time on Sunday and I’m definitely expecting a reaction from their players,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“There has already been an improvement in United’s performances since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure, which is understandable – everyone is already playing for their place and even the ones who were out of the team think they might have a chance because all the players start afresh.

“I think that improvement from United will continue. Crystal Palace will be trying to spoil the party at Old Trafford but they are another team who have had a bit of a blip since the international break and seem to have lost their momentum.”

Manchester United lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace in the opening fixture of the 2020-21 campaign, when goals from Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha sealed a famous win for the south London side.

The Red Devils have only managed to win two of their last six games against the Eagles to suggest that Crystal Palace are something of a bogey team for Manchester United.

Ronaldo scored twice in Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Arsenal to take his tally to 11 for the current campaign and 801 in his overall career.

Speaking to Manchester United’s website about the impact of Ronaldo at the 20-time English champions, outgoing caretaker manager Carrick said:

“I just think seeing how he goes about his business, his mentality, attitude and obviously quality.

“To score so many goals, it’s incredible. He’s been terrific this week, especially for me, the things I’ve asked of him and the way he’s gone about his business around the players. He’s been absolutely top, top drawer.

“So it’s no surprise he scores again [versus Arsenal], it’s the perfect ending really.”

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