Palace’s first home game of 2018 sees them take on Burnley, who have been the revelation of the Premier League this term having amassed enough points before the turn of the year to virtually secure a third-straight season in the top-flight.
The Eagles haven’t enjoyed the recent meetings between the teams, having lost each of the last four league games and the Clarets winning seven out of the previous nine in the top-flight, and Roy Hodgson’s team will be wary that only the top five have taken more points on their travels then Burnley’s 17 so far this campaign.
However, despite their heroics this season, Palace come into this clash as the form team with one league defeat in their last 11, while Dyche’s team haven’t tasted victory in over a month.
Clarets stuttering after a strong start
Despite only finding the net 19 times in their 22 Premier League games to date, a strong defence has ensured that Burnley have conceded the same amount. A run of one defeat in 10 matches between August and November has helped Dyche's team to their lofty league position, but they are now winless in six matches during a difficult winter.
The last of those came a week ago at Manchester City where their FA Cup hopes were dashed by a 4-1 scoreline, and having succumbed to a last-minute winner for Liverpool on New Year’s Day, 2018 hasn’t started the way they would have liked.
However, there has been better news on the transfer front with Dyche completing the loan signing of Tottenham winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou on Tuesday, and the ever-improving James Tarkowski signing a new long-term Clarets contract with a host of top teams sniffing around him.
View From The Opposition
Sean Dyche on Palace.
“They (Palace) will know we gave a good performance down there last season and we’ve happy memories of a good day. But they have settled things down this season and I don’t think anyone was in that much doubt that would happen.
“You look at the players they have and they are a better side than results in the early part of the season showed, and that’s been proved by Roy (Hodgson) and his staff.
“He seems to have simplified things and they have players who are organised and willing to work, so we know it’s another tough challenge for us.”
Roy Hodgson's selection headache has worsened after Monday's FA Cup defeat at Brighton, with Andros Townsend and Jeffrey Schlupp leaving the ground on crutches and both are set for a spell on the sidelines, with Schlupp requiring an operation.
It is hoped that Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke have overcome their niggles to be fit to face Burnley, but the game is likely to come too soon for Joel Ward and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Mamadou Sakho is pencilled in for a February return, Scott Dann and Jason Puncheon are out for the season, while Connor Wickham continues to remain out with a knee injury.
Dyche has confirmed that Chris Wood and Stephen Ward will miss out with knee injuries, but Scott Arfield could return following a hamstring issue. Long-term casualities Robbie Brady and Tom Heaton will play no part, but Nkoudou will be involved in the matchday squad.
Having overseen the teams' corresponding fixture at Turf Moor in September, Michael Oliver is back in the middle again in south London. It is his fourth Palace appointment of the campaign, having also refereed the 0-0 draw at West Bromwich Albion and the defeat to Arsenal last month.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistant Refs: Simon Bennett and Mick McDonough
Fourth Official: Bobby Madley
|Palace wins||Draws||Burnley wins|
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