Crystal Palace – Manchester United Preview: McArthur eyeing shock victory

Alan Pardew’s men have lost three consecutive games – as have Louis van Gaal’s side – but the Eagles midfielder believes they can defeat the Red Devils on Saturday

Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur believes his side can defeat Manchester United this weekend, but insists that “it’s not about spoiling parties”.

Alan Pardew’s men have lost three matches on the bounce, having won their previous four in a row, and face a United side on an equally unconvincing run, with their defeat to West Brom on Saturday marking their third consecutive loss.

Nevertheless, United sit four points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool and with Palace, who sit 12th, set to face Liverpool next weekend, the Eagles could yet have a major say on which clubs make up the top four.

“I think it’s going to be very tough,” McArthur told the club’s official website. “But we like these games.

“We like the games where there’s no pressure on you, where you can go to Stamford Bridge, Manchester United can come here or you can go to Anfield with no fear.

“These are the games that make you want to play in the Premier League, competing with the best players in the world.

“We’ve got a belief in the changing room that we can get results, we’ve got that real, solid base and from that we’ve got so much pace, power, ability and we can hurt anyone in the forward areas.

“We need to do ourselves justice for the remainder of the season. We want to make it right after losing a few games.

“I think everyone on the outside has thought ‘Crystal Palace have switched off, they’re safe,’ but it is not like that in the changing room.

“Everyone’s been right at it this week, working so hard and looking forward to the remaining matches.

“It’s about doing ourselves justice and trying to get as many points on the board as possible. The club had 45 points last year, so we want to try and beat that. If we beat that, it shows there is real progression at the club.”

Juan Mata scored the winner as United claimed a 1-0 win in November’s reverse fixture and Palace have not beaten United at home since 1991.

Palace strikers Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh (both hamstring) are thought to be nearing a return from injury, as is winger Jerome Thomas (ankle), while United continue to sport a lengthy list of doubts.

Michael Carrick (calf), Jonny Evans (knock), Rafael (rib), Marcos Rojo (abdomen) and Luke Shaw (groin) were all missing for last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to West Brom.

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