• Date: Sun 21 May 2017
  • Kick-off: 14:00
  • Venue: Old Trafford
Manchester United

Manchester United

J. Harrop 15"

P. Pogba 19"

2 - 0

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

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Mourinho: Inexperienced Manchester United line-up not ideal for Palace match

Jose Mourinho does not believe Manchester United's young players are ready for this weekend's baptism of fire against Crystal Palace.

United will go through the motions at Old Trafford on Sunday as the Premier League comes to a meek conclusion, just days before their make-or-break Europa League final against Ajax.

Given the Stockholm finale offers both silverware and Champions League qualification, it is little wonder Mourinho will play a weakened side against Palace in a bid to keep his key players fit and fresh.

The Portuguese confirmed Joel Pereira, Kieran O'Hara, Demetri Mitchell, Scott McTominay, Josh Harrop, Matthew Willock and Zachary Dearnley will be involved on Sunday, so too 16-year-old Angel Gomes.

But when asked if the young players were ready, Mourinho said: "All together? No.

"I think one in the middle of a good structure, a dynamic structure, an experienced structure, I think, yes. I think lots of them together, no."

Mourinho confirmed 19-year-old defenders Tim Fosu-Mensah, back after a shoulder injury, and Axel Tuanzebe would also play on Sunday - a bold, callow selection borne out of necessity.

"The only positive is to save my players to give them better conditions for Wednesday," Mourinho said.

"It's the only positive thing. Of course individually for the kids, I think it will be a great experience: Old Trafford, Premier League, Crystal Palace, last match of the season. I think for the kids it will be a big occasion, it will always be good experience for them.

"But I think the best debut for a young player is in the middle of an experienced structure, where he can be supported.

"To play so many kids at the same time, honestly, I don't think it's good.

"Obviously there is a big difference of quality, strength, experience between them and good players, experienced players like Crystal Palace have.

"I would prefer to give them debuts like I gave to Axel against Reading, to Joel against Wigan - or a big match, but for one player.

"With so many at the same time, I think they really need my support, (reserves manager) Nicky Butt's support (and) supporters to understand the difficult job they have, because it will not be an easy one for them."

Crystal Palace are without Andros Townsend for Sunday's trip after the midfielder was ruled out with an Achilles injury.

Yohan Cabaye faces a late fitness test, owing to a knock, while Scott Dann is again expected to miss out because of a knee problem.

Beyond his long-term absentees, Connor Wickham, Pape Souare and Mamadou Sakho, Palace manager Sam Allardyce otherwise has a near fully-fit squad from which to choose.

Allardyce will resist the temptation to also rest his players, saying: "I won't be trying players for the sake of it.

"I will be picking a team that I think will perform well. Anybody with knocks or problems, I will not play.

"If Yohan is not 100 per cent I won't play him. Andros is definitely out already. Everybody wants to go and play at Old Trafford and come off with a result, as hard as it might be."
Team Lineups

Manchester United

40 Joel Castro
4 P. Jones
3 E. Bailly
38 A. Tuanzebe
6 P. Pogba 19"
14 J. Lingard
46 J. Harrop 15"
35 D. Mitchell
24 T. Fosu-Mensah
39 S. McTominay
10 W. Rooney
A. Martial > J. Lingard 45+2"
M. Carrick > P. Pogba 45"
A. Gomes > W. Rooney 88"
D. Blind
M. Willock
Z. Dearnley
K. O'Hara

Crystal Palace

13 W. Hennessey
5 J. Tomkins
34 M. Kelly
2 J. Ward
3 P. van Aanholt
42 J. Puncheon
18 J. McArthur
28 L. Milivojevic
11 W. Zaha
17 C. Benteke
31 J. Schlupp
B. Sako > J. McArthur 61"
S. Kaikai > P. van Aanholt 67"
F. Campbell > W. Zaha 79"
Chung-Yong Lee
J. Speroni
A. Wan-Bissaka
S. Dann

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