On May 24th, the final Premier League weekend, Swansea City travel from Wales to South London to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. In the grand scheme of things, this game doesn’t really mean a whole lot. Swansea are already locked into their league position of eighth with Stoke five points behind them and Southampton four points ahead. Palace could move up as far as 10th or move down to 13th if results either go their way or go against them. Palace’s prize money could increase or decrease depending on this game, but outside of that, this game doesn’t mean a whole lot. Hopefully the lack of pressure means that there is a good, entertaining, open game of football.
Crystal Palace essentially have their entire squad available for selection going into the game. The only player missing is Jerome Thomas, who is yet to start a game this season and has made a measly two substitutes this season. Swansea on the other hand have quite a few injuries to deal with. Ki Sung-Yeung, Jordi Amat, Wayne Routledge, Tom Carroll, Kyle Naughton, and Nelson Oliveira will all be missing out through injuries. Angel Rangel will have a late fitness test to determine whether he will be fit or not for the final game of the season.
In their three Premier League meetings, Crystal Palace have not won against Swansea. After winning the first two meetings between the two sides, Palace are winless in their last seven vs Swansea. Swansea have never lost to the South Londonders when conceding fewer than two goals, and they’ve never won when conceding two or more. The last two match ups between the sides have ended in 1-1 draws. Swansea have kept clean sheets in all four of their wins against Palace.
Crystal Palace: Yannick Bolasie
Alan Pardew has turned Crystal Palace into a very good counter attacking side. The wingers have been a big part of the danger in the side. Yannick Bolasie has become a big part of their success. He can be hot and cold at times, but, when the Congo international is on, he is an extremely dangerous player. He showed that at Anfield last weekend when he tore the Liverpool defense apart. Dejan Lovren must still be seeing Bolasie in his nightmares. His six assists is the second most in the team, and he has created the second most chances in the team as well. He can be inconsistent, but Bolasie has the ability to be a match winner.
Swansea City: Jack Cork
Swansea have shown huge improvement this year. A lot of that is down to improvement in the midfield. The big signing for the Swans in the summer was Gyfli Sigurdsson, but as big if not a bigger signing was made in January in the shape of Jack Cork. The former Southampton man has been a fantastic signing for the South Wales side and he has made a big difference. He has created a fantastic platform for the team to play their football off of. Against Arsenal he was one of the standout player for Swansea just in his defending and his defensive diligence. Cork is one of those midfield player that every team needs to balance the team.
I’m not sure how this game will pan out. It could be a fantastic open game of football, or both sets of players could be on the beach. Palace have not been the best team at home this season, and Swansea are probably the more talented team, so I’m going to go with a Swansea win.
Prediction: 2-1 Swansea