West Ham host an upbeat Crystal Palace on Saturday, 28th February on match day __. While Palace have garnered an impressive 10 points from the last 5 games, West Ham have seen their form dip with just a solitary win in the last 5 games. Once occupying a spot in the lucrative top 4 of the Premier League for a sustained period of time this season, West Ham currently sit in the 8th spot, 8 points away from Champions League qualification. Their guests for the evening currently sit in the 13th spot and their manager Alan Pardew will be looking to eke out a positive result to stay away from the drop zone.
Just when it seemed like Andy Carroll was getting into a fine form having been afforded a stretch of playing time by his manager Sam Allardyce, his injury woes returned to haunt him and the striker remains sidelined for this season with an ankle injury. Senior striker Carlton Cole too has suffered a Hamstring injury and is set to be sidelined for at least a month. That leaves it to the strike force of Valencia and Sakho to find the back of the net often in a faltering Hammers campaign.
Crystal Palace have a few injury concerns of their own. Fraizer Campbell is still recovering from his Hamstring injury and would be back only by the mid of March. Apart from the striker, the players expected to miss out due to injuries are Chamakh (Hamstring), Sanogo (Hamstring), McArthur (Hip) and Thomas (Muscular). Alan Pardew will need to mix up the resources at hand to thwart the attempts of the Hammers to leave a solid mark over the game.
- This will be the 29th meeting between these sides in all competitions.
- Of the 28 games played between the sides, 12 have been won by West Ham, 6 by Crystal Palace, while the rest have ended as draws.
Adrian, Jenkinson, Reid, Tomkins, Cresswell, Kouyate, Song, Noble, Downing, Sakho, Valencia
Speroni, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare, Zaha, Jedinak, Ledley, Mutch, Puncheon, Gayle
Stewart Downing has made up from some lost ground and reputation over the last few months. His consistent performances as the lynchpin of this new look Hammers attack have made him a player to watch out every time the team walks out. The Englishman has 7 assists so far this season and has looked threatening switching positions at will after being afforded the freedom by his manager. With the return of club captain Mile Jedinak from the Asian continental championships, Downing’s job will be made tough by the presence of the Destroyer-in-Chief of this Palace side. However, a lapse in concentration will turn out to be costly for Palace with Downing showing an ability to create chances out of the smallest of opportunities.
The once record signing of Crystal Palace has shown immense talent over the last 18 months. He is skilled, pacy and has shown an excellent work-rate for a striker. He has 10 goals so far this season, with 5 of them coming in the league and he will be itching to add to the number. The English man has shown an ability to make himself available at the slightest of opportunities alongside a calm head to find the back of the net. Should his team mates manage to break the West Ham defence and thread passes to Gayle behind them, he could leave the defence rooted with his speed. In the absence of Chamakh and Campbell, he will need to be played further up the pitch and will need to be efficient with the chances he is provided.
|2014/15||Crystal Palace||1- 3||West Ham||Premier League|
|2013/14||West Ham||0-1||Crystal Palace||Premier League|
|Crystal Palace||1-0||West Ham||Premier League|
|2011/2012||West Ham||0-0||Crystal Palace||F.A. Cup|
|Crystal Palace||2-2||West Ham||Premier League|
While West Ham have seen their form and league position slump, the arrival of Alan Pardew has galvanised this Crystal Palace side. However, lack of sufficient ammunition in the attack due to injuries/form makes us believe this tie will end all square at 1-1.
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