Having played for both Palace and West Ham United, Marouane Chamkah is well equipped to have his say on tomorrow's game, even if he will be watching from afar.
Having scored twice in his previous two Eagles appearances against his former club, the Moroccan striker will unfortunately sit out tomorrow's game as he has a hamstring injury which will sideline him for the next fortnight, but believes that Palace will be in for a tough test in Saturday's lunchtime derby.
Chamakh feels the Eagles are up for the challenge and is excepting a tight affair in east London, saying: “We had a really good game against Arsenal even though we lost, but we tried really hard and there's still a good atmosphere around the group. We now can't wait to play against West Ham.
“I was really surprised by them at the start of the season but not any more because they started signing players like Andy Carroll and Alex Song, who I used to play with at Arsenal and he's a very good player.
“This season they've played really well, I've never seen them play like that before and they're a very good team, especially their defence and midfield. This season they have some really good players to achieve something.”
The 31-year-old also missed the trip to Upton Park last season with the Eagles which famously saw them win 1-0 thanks to Mile Jedinak's penalty and mathematically secure their top-flight status, and he feels he is a better player after those experiences of scrapping for points – a situation he once again finds himself in with Palace this campaign.
“Since last season I've been playing deeper but I like it because the most important thing is to play,” he added. “If the manager wants me to play right-back I will because I want to play.
“I learnt a lot last season. The challenge at the start of the season was to stay up and there was more pressure, it was not like at Arsenal or Bordeaux where they aim to qualify for the Champions League so it was different and every single game was important but I enjoy the challenge.”
Despite Chamakh's absence, there is another Palace and Hammers connection tomorrow as Alan Pardew returns to his old stomping ground, and the striker has admitted he can't wait to put his injury problems over the past couple of months behind him so he can benefit from the gaffer's experience and training methods.
On his manager, Chamakh added: “Training is different - we work really hard and really well and even though I am injured I want to work with him because I can progress every day because he's behind you and he wants the best for you.
“Every game is different but in my position he just wants me to take my chances and shoot more and just to give everything.”