On October 25th, Crystal Palace travel to the Hawthorns to take on Alan Irvine’s West Bromwich Albion. These are two teams that many have predicted to be relegated, but both sides are currently out of the bottom three and will hope to stay out of it all season. This could be a crucial three points for either side at the end of the season. These kind of matches may not have the flash of some bigger ties, like Manchester United Chelsea, but they are huge games none the less. Both managers will circle games like these as ones they need to collect points from. It’s a game both sides would hate to lose and will be desperate to win.
Both teams are relatively good on the injury front going into the match. The Baggies will be without summer loan signing Silvestre Varela while he is recovering from surgery. They will also be without their number one keeper, Ben Foster. Palace will be without Stuart O’Keefe and Scott Dann as they continue to recover from injuries. James McArthur is a game time decision as he battles a hip problem.
This will be the 40th time the two sides meet. In the previous 39 meetings, West Brom have won 16, Palace have won 11 and they have drawn 12 times. While West Brom have the edge all time, the Baggies have only won one of the last eight meetings between the two sides. The teams played twice at the Hawthorns last season in the Premier League and FA Cup with both matches ending in 2-0 scorelines. The league meeting went to the home side with the Fa Cup game going to the Eagles.
The key man for Alan Irvine is their star striker and leading goalscorer, Saido Berahino. Berahino is a name on the lips of many as he has started the season in fantastic form. The West Brom striker is the highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League with six goals in only eight Premier League games. The England u-21 star has has scored five goals in his last 302 minutes of football for the Baggies. The 21 year old has been the main man at the Hawthorns with 60% of the teams league goals. Behind only superstars Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero in the race for the golden boot, the young English striker has been fantastic and his presence gives West Brom a chance in every game.
Crystal Palace’s key man is their own English striker, Fraizer Campbell. The former Manchester United striker came to Palace from Cardiff City this summer. In his first eight appearances for the Eagles, the Huddersfield born striker has bagged himself three goals. Campbell has been pretty efficient in front of goals scoring his three goals with only 11 shots. The striker is more of a goal scorer for Palace though. He is incredibly hardworking and can provide a threat in behind. The former Cardiff man helps Neil Warnock’s side defend from the front constantly chasing lost causes and pressing defenders when they are on the ball.
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These six pointers can sometimes be a bit of a stalemate because neither team wants to lose the match. Still, both teams will know they need to take points from games like this and will hopefully come out and take initiative. As for who is going to win, I’m backing the team that is at home with the in form striker.
Prediction: 2-1 West Bromwich Albion