Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has rubbed salt into Manchester United's wounds by claiming that Michael Carrick will be a major miss when the Red Devils visit Selhurst Park on Saturday.
The 20-time Champions are on a three-game losing streak and find themselves in a must win situation where failure to win can see Liverpool close the gap in on them in the race for a top four spot. United have lost against Chelsea, Everton and West Bromwich Albion in back-to-back games, their first in over a decade.
Meanwhile, Palace have also not been at their best over the past couple of weeks, having certified their stay in the Premier League. However, with United reeling, it will be a brilliant chance for Pardew to put a win over one of their more decorated rivals, as they have already done so against Manchester City.
United have been reeling without the presence of Carrick, who has been an integral part of their midfield balance. Van Gaal has tried to change the setup against West Brom by using Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie behind Marouane Fellaini, but the tactic has failed to reap results, leaving the Dutchman with a lot to ponder upon.
Pardew has experience with Carrick having previously managed the player during his time at Tottenham.
"That will be a blow to them because Michael is an underrated player in terms of those who haven't worked with him," Pardew said.
"If you ask anyone at Man United - and I've seen Paul Scholes and Gary Neville talking about the importance of him - and I have been lucky enough to manage him and then you understand how important he is.
"He has been underused at England level and is very important to United. They will miss him [against Palace]. What he gives you is an intelligence on the pitch. He has an intelligence defensively,' the Crystal Palace manager added.