Erik ten Hag knows how much beating rivals Manchester City means to Manchester United, but is keeping his feet planted firmly on the ground.
United beat City 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday, moving them just a point behind Pep Guardiola’s team.While that victory has seen some suggest United are now well in the Premier League title race, despite being nine points behind leaders Arsenal, Ten Hag is not getting carried away.
“Every win you have to celebrate,” Ten Hag said while looking forward to Wednesday’s clash with Crystal Palace. “You work so hard for such momentum, and every win that is so great in top football, you can’t not celebrate. You kill the energy (if you do not celebrate).
“We have to celebrate, but after we settle down after 24 hours. We move on to the next game, and to get in the right rhythm.
“Every third day we have to deliver, and the players have to get in right rhythm, physically and mentally, to be ready for the next game.”
Palace, meanwhile, have lost four of their last five league matches, scoring only twice across that run and conceding nine times.
Patrick Vieira knows the attacking side is something his team must improve on, acknowledging Palace are aiming to bolster their ranks this month.
“Keep working, keep believing in ourselves. The chances are there and I want my players to be ruthless inside of the box,” he said.
“There are options to improve that side of the game. This is a really difficult window to find the players that improve the squad. We managed to identify the names of the players that we wanted and now everything is in the hands of football club to try and make it happen.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha has scored three Premier League goals against his former club United – one more will make him the outright top scorer against them among players to have previously played for the Red Devils in the competition.
Manchester United – Christian Eriksen
Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in seven goals in 11 Premier League appearances against Palace, scoring three and assisting four times. In fact, Eriksen has had a hand in a goal in each of his last three Premier League outings at Selhurst Park (one goal, two assists).
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Marcus Rashford has scored in each of his last seven appearances for Manchester United in all competitions, netting eight goals in total. The last United player to find the net in eight consecutive appearances was Ruud van Nistelrooy in May 2003 (10 in a row).
– United have won each of their last nine games in all competitions, their longest such run since January 2017. They last had a longer run between January and February 2009 (11 in a row).
– Palace have lost by 3+ goals without scoring in their last two home Premier League games (0-3 vs Fulham, 0-4 vs Tottenham). Only two teams in Premier League history have done so in three home games in a row within a single season: West Brom (four in a row in 2020-21) and Norwich City (three in 2022).
– United have won five of their last eight away Premier League games (D1 L2), after losing seven in a row before this. They are looking for three consecutive away league wins for the first time since a 10-game winning run between June and December 2020.
– Palace won this exact fixture 1-0 on the final day of last season, their first home league win over Manchester United since May 1991 (D4 L9 in between).