Manchester United's Predicted XI against Crystal Palace
Manchester United host Crystal Palace on Saturday on the backdrop of a crushing loss in the derby. The international break has given manager Jose Mourinho and his players time to rebuild and focus on the task at hand.
Even though only 12 league matches have been played this season, there is cause for concern that the Red Devils will not only have a subdued season but also a terrible one. It has slowly been commonplace for the team to suffer what has been the post-Sir Alex Ferguson fever.
Yes, it can be argued that some titles and results have been in the bag. However, United has yet to fully hit top gear in terms of returning the fear factor and consistently chalking up the wins. It is almost as if every match is a gamble.
One simply cannot tell what version of United will show up. Is it the one that can go to a hostile environment and get an away win at Juventus? Or the fringe one that was whitewashed by Brighton and Hove Albion?
It is clear that some United players have simply not been good enough. Their defensive troubles have only been matched by their overall lack of aggression on the offensive end.
One clean sheet in 12 matches is unacceptable for a team of United's calibre. Before the January transfer window, Mourinho still has to select players from those available to him. This is a strong united line up that should be picked at Old Trafford.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
The Spanish international has faced heavy criticism over his performances. There is also uncertainty over his contract situation. United's best player in the last four seasons is certainly the first name on the team sheet. He did not have the best of outings during the international break but has been a key component in masking the shortcomings of their porous defence.
He has made some tremendous saves this season despite being offered little protection by his defenders. De Gea will retain his place in goal in what should be a more comfortable evening for United if memories from the Etihad Stadium is anything to go by.