Crystal Palace out to break 14-year streak at Old Trafford

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The November to December transition proved a particularly difficult period for Manchester United in the 1998/99 season.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s men had already gone five games without a win in all competitions, but were expected to make light work of Middlesbrough at Old Trafford.

This was despite Middlesbrough getting within a minute of a famous victory at Highbury against Arsenal in their previous away outing, with their first team littered with the likes of Hamilton Ricard, Neil Maddison and Dean Gordon.

However, Boro went one better at Old Trafford by leaving with a 3-2 success, despite nearly blowing a 3-0 lead and interestingly bringing on a third striker in Mikkel Beck to replace midfielder Maddison for the final seven minutes.

What is significant about this result is that it remains the last instance when Man Utd lost a Premier League home fixture against a newly-promoted club, which is a streak Crystal Palace are attempting to snap this season.

Palace are 12/1 to beat Man Utd in the Premier League odds and can at least be buoyed by the fact that they won at Old Trafford on their last competitive visit, which was in the League Cup in 2011.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have not managed to score in their last two Premier League fixtures, which may give Palace some hope that they have a chance if defending stoutly.

Shocks do not occur all that often at the Theatre of Dreams, but Man Utd do suffer the odd home blip, with relegated Blackburn securing their own 3-2 triumph in the 2011/12 season.

Throw in a second Middlesbrough success by this scoreline in the 2003/04 campaign and Crystal Palace winning 3-2 may not be as unlikely as its price of 100/1 intimates.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.