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Crystal Palace host West Ham United tomorrow in their first home game of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season.
Caretaker boss Keith Millen takes charge of the Eagles for the second game running as the hunt continues to find Tony Pulis’ permanent successor at Selhurst Park – and Millen will be looking for a similar performance from his players that saw them lose narrowly at Arsenal last time out.
Brede Hangeland, Martin Kelly and Fraizer Campbell all impressed on their Palace bows at the Emirates, with the former’s debut goal ultimately proving in vain as Aaron Ramsey struck late on to secure all three points for the Gunners.
West Ham experienced similar last-gasp heartache on the opening day of the season as they went down 1-0 to Tottenham thanks to a 93rd minute winner from Eric Dier.
Manager Sam Allardyce has strengthened his squad well over the summer, bringing in the attacking talents of Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate, but he could find himself under early pressure if his side do not pick up a result in SE25 this weekend.
Crystal Palace: Palace will be without last season’s joint top scorer Jason Puncheon on Saturday after the winger was sent off late on in the 2-1 loss to Arsenal last weekend.
His absence has sparked a battle to fill the void on the right of midfield, with Barry Bannan, Jerome Thomas, Adlene Guedioura and Jonny Williams all in contention to replace him – although the game could come too soon for the latter, who hasn’t played since injuring his thigh during the club’s pre-season tour of America last month.
Scott Dann could return to the back line having limped off injured against the Gunners last time out, with Damien Delaney ready to step into the starting line-up should he not make it.
Adrian Mariappa is continuing his comeback from a rib injury and could make Millen’s 18-man squad tomorrow.
West Ham: The Hammers also have an early suspension to contend with after James Collins saw red in the derby day defeat to Tottenham last Saturday.
James Tomkins may make his injury comeback in his place, with Guy Demel also on stand-by along with new signing Cheikhou Kouyate, who could switch from his usual midfield role to fill in at centre-back.
Striker duo Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate are both pushing for starts having been named among the substitutes on the opening day of the season, but fellow frontman Andy Carroll is definitely ruled out with an ankle injury.
Joey O’Brien (knee), Matt Jarvis (thigh) and Carl Jenkinson (hamstring) all face late fitness tests in their race to make Allardyce’s matchday squad.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Assistants: S Beck and J Collin
Fourth Official: M Jones
|Palace wins||Draws||West Ham wins|
LAST MEETING AT SELHURST PARK
West Ham were the visitors to south London on a cold December night at the end of 2013 in what was Tony Pulis’ first home game in charge of Crystal Palace.
In a tight affair, Marouane Chamakh’s header against his former club proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Barry Bannan’s 42nd minute corner was initially cleared at the near post, but the Scot whipped over a second deliver which was glanced into the far corner by Chamakh to give the hosts the lead.
The Hammers mounted a second half surge in a bid to rescue a point, but the Eagles defended resolutely to secure a huge three points in their battle to beat the drop.
Palace and West Ham supporters are advised to check their travel place ahead of Saturday's game, with planned rail closures at Watford and London Bridge stations over the bank holiday weekend.
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A limited number of tickets still remain in the Arthur Wait Stand for tomorrow’s game. CLICK HERE for further details or secure your seat online for the Selhurst season curtain-raiser.
Alternatively, call our box office on 0871 200 0071.
Crystal Palace: 7/5
West Ham: 2/1
Odds courtesy of SkyBet.
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Live commentary from all 90 minutes at Selhurst Park will be available on Palace Player. CLICK HERE to log in or sign up to our award-winning subscription service.
You can also follow live text updates from Saturday’s game by following our official Twitter account, @CPFC.