Crystal Palace will be aiming to bounce back from consecutive defeats when they travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in the Premier League over the weekend.
Patrick Vieira’s charges slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Leeds United last time out, with Raphinha slotting home an injury-time winner from the penalty spot following Marc Guehi’s handball.
The result dropped Palace down to 11th in the top-flight standings, and they’ll be keen to put an end to their recent run of poor form ahead of the busy festive schedule.
However, the Eagles are set to face a tricky task when coming up against the Red Devils, who will be buoyant following their midweek victory over Arsenal.
It will also be new interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s first game in charge of United, so a raucous atmosphere is expected at Old Trafford ahead of what will be a highly-charged occasion.
Therefore, Vieira may be better off lining his team up in a more cautious, pragmatic way, enabling his side to contain the threat of the 20-time English champions and giving the visitors the best chance of securing a positive result.
With key midfielder James McArthur out injured, the French tactician lined up with Jeffrey Schlupp in the middle of the pitch at Elland Road as he went in search of all three points.
Against United, though, it would perhaps be wise to drop the Ghana international in favour of the more defensive-minded Luka Milivojevic.
The £7.2m-rated beast was labelled “outstanding” by former Palace manager Roy Hodgson following his impressive exploits for the south London club, and he has also produced several eye-catching displays under Vieira.
As per WhoScored, Milivojevic has averaged one tackle, 0.6 interceptions and 0.9 clearances per league game throughout 2021/22, either bettering or matching Schlupp in each metric.
With United boasting the attacking talents of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes, adopting a cautious approach may be the best route to success for Palace on Sunday.