Paul Merson states his prediction for Man United v Crystal Palace

Paul Merson is backing Manchester United to draw with Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday

Paul Merson
Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports)

Paul Merson is predicting that Ralf Rangnick’s first game in charge of Manchester United will end in a disappointing 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

The Red Devils sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last month and Michael Carrick took over the reins of the 20-time English champions on a caretaker basis before Manchester United opted to appoint Rangnick as the interim head coach until the end of the 2021-22 season.

Carrick steered Manchester United to a 3-2 win over Arsenal in his final game in charge on Thursday night thanks to goals from Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo, finishing with a record of two victories and one draw.

Rangnick will set up his Manchester United side to face a Crystal Palace outfit who have lost their last two Premier League games to undermine their incredible win at Manchester City last month.

Patrick Vieira’s men have been beaten by Aston Villa and Leeds United in their last two games to leave the Frenchman’s team in the bottom half of the table heading into this weekend’s Premier League action.

But former Arsenal midfielder Merson is backing Palace to hold Manchester United to a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday.

“Manchester United managed a great result against Arsenal this week,” Merson told Sportskeeda. “Their new manager won’t be able to do too much for this game – he’ll have only one training session with his players. Ronaldo’s still scoring all the goals for Man United, and his 801-goal tally is unbelievable.

“I’m sure Ralf Rangnick will also give Sancho a fair chance. He’s seen enough of Sancho in German football and United have paid a lot of money for him, so I’m hoping it pays off.

“United fans will turn up expecting their team to win this game, but Palace do have the players to hurt them. They’re a dangerous team, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they took something away from this Premier League game.”

The Eagles were 3-1 winners against Manchester United in their last visit to Old Trafford at the start of the 2020-21 season before the two teams played out a goalless draw at Selhurst Park in the reverse fixture.

Manchester United have lost their last two home games against Palace.

Speaking at his pre-match media conference on Friday for the first time as Manchester United manager, Rangnick vowed to improve the performances of the Red Devils players.

“You can only go game-by-game, step-by-step. I have made it clear that whenever I came to clubs in the middle of the season, which was the case twice at Schalke and once at Stuttgart, that you just have to make sure you have the best chance to win the next game, that’s what it’s all about.

“Then, step-by-step, players participate and they have to buy into how we should want to play as a team in the future. This is what it’s all about and I said it has to happen step-by-step, it cannot be done within one-two days like this. It will not work like that.”

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