Crystal Palace host fellow relegation candidates Norwich City on New Year’s Day having lost just one of their last four home games. The hosts can overtake Chris Hughton’s men if they start 2014 with a victory at Selhurst Park.
Norwich come into the game off the back of two consecutive home defeats since Christmas, after going down to Fulham on Boxing Day and Manchester United two days later.
They will be buoyed by the 1-0 victory over Tony Pulis’ men back in November though, in what was the gaffer’s first game in charge of Palace.
The Canaries have failed to win in any of their last 13 visits to SE25, picking up just four points in that run. They will need to stop a spell of four Premier League games without a win if they are to end their south London hoodoo on Wednesday.
Crystal Palace: Cameron Jerome will face a late fitness test after coming off injured with a knee injury against Manchester City, following a crunching collision with goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Kagiosho Dikgacoi could also return to the squad after a spell on the sidelines, while fellow central midfielder Stuart O’Keefe has targeted the FA Cup clash with West Brom on Saturday as a more realistic date for his comeback from a hamstring problem.
Two more midfielders, Jerome Thomas (calf) and Adlene Guedioura (broken ribs) are also ruled out, although the pair are both hopeful of a return to action before the end of January.
Long-term absentees Jack Hunt and Glenn Murray are also pushing for first team returns in the New Year, while Paddy McCarthy remains sidelined.
Norwich City: Chris Hughton’s main injury concern will be in-form striker Gary Hooper, who had to be hauled off against Manchester United on Saturday. If he is declared unfit, that could open the door for club record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel to start a Premier League game for the first time since 6th October.
Jonny Howson is also doubtful for the visitors with a back injury, while Anthony Pilkington, Alex Tettey and Elliott Bennett will all miss out.
Referee: Mike Dean.
Assistants: J Collin, M Scholes.
Fourth Official: R Madley.
Palace win: 13/10
Norwich win: 21/10
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