Saturday afternoon will see Sam Allardyce’s Hammers welcome Tony Pulis’ Eagles to The Boleyn Ground, in a game that really has very little significance to how the Barclays Premier League will finish this season.
Both teams are safe for another season and are sitting comfortably in mid-table.
After Wednesday’s impressive 3-2 away victory over Champions League chasing Everton, Palace currently sit 11th in the Barclays Premier League table, 1 place and 3 points above West Ham and a massive 10 points clear of the relegation zone.
West Ham will be hoping to improve on their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal last time out, however, their performance in that match certainly warranted more than they got that evening.
West Ham come into the game with only 2 wins in their last 5 games and their last 2 home games have resulted in defeats.
Crystal Palace, on the other hand, come into the game on the back of 4 wins in their last 5 and haven’t lost away from home since their visit to Newcastle back on the 22nd March 2014.
- West Ham have only lost one of their 12 previous home league games against Crystal Palace (W6 D5).
- Crystal Palace have won just five of their 24 away London derbies in the Barclays Premier League (D5 L14).
- Against Everton in midweek Palace scored 3+ goals in successive away games for the first time in their top-flight history.
- Julian Speroni is one of 7 players that have played every minute of the season for their club.
- Yannick Bolasie has had more shots on goal than any other player who has yet to score a goal this season.
West Ham United come into the game with doubts over both skipper Kevin Nolan and defender James Collins, however, both could be declared fit. They will definitely be without Marco Borriello and Joey O’Brien through injury.
Crystal Palace have a clean bill of health and Tony Pulis will be loathed to make any changes to a side that has won their last 3 matches.
West Ham’s midfield man Mark Noble has had an impressive season for the Hammers. He is somewhat of an unsung hero and is nearly always an ever present.
He has scored 3 goals this season with all of them coming from the penalty spot. However, it’s his passing that has been the highlight of his season. In a side that is often derided for not passing the ball, Noble has a pass success rate of 81% and completes 71% of his passes in the final third.
Such has been his form that there has been talk of an England call up.
Crystal Palace’s Jason Puncheon is another that has had an impressive season. His form since Tony Pulis has taken over has impressed many and again there has been talk of him getting a chance on the international stage.
With 6 goals scored and 5 clear cut chances created, it is clear that the majority of Palace’s attacking play goes through the wide man.
Crystal Palace are on a run of great form and it is difficult to look beyond them winning this game. However, with their Premier League survival all but guaranteed there is every chance that they could drop off the pace slightly.
West Ham are still a difficult team to beat at home and with the likes of Mark Noble and Andy Carroll pushing for England call ups I feel that they will just have enough to see them come out on top in this match.
I predict a West Ham victory, 2-1 with Andy Carroll and Mo Diame getting on the scoresheet.