Just hours before Selhurst Park opens its gates to both players and supporters for the first time this season, the squad are looking forward to the latest pre-season encounter as Valencia are welcomed to SE25.
For new signing James Tomkins it will be an opportunity to build up his match fitness after suffering a slight injury whilst on the club's tour of the US, and he is expecting a lively contest from a team who arrive at Selhurst Park with a great reputation.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s match, Tomkins said: “Valencia are a massive team and it will be a good workout for us because I know technically those Spanish teams are really good. From what I’ve seen previously they can make you run around a lot more, so physically it will be a good game for us.”
Jason Puncheon echoed the defender's comments, acknowledging the history of the La Liga side as a measure of the team Palace can expect to face.
“This is a good test for us. A Champions League team, Europa League team, where they’ve played over the last few years you’ve got to give them great credit and it’s one I’m sure our fans will enjoy.”
In what is the Eagles’ only pre-season game at home, the players are looking forward to playing back in front of their own fans.
Freddie Lapado, scorer of Palace’s winning goal against Wimbledon AFC last week, is hoping to get his first taste of playing in front of the Selhurst Park faithful, and believes the fans will turn out in their numbers as they’ve always done, no matter where the team are playing.
“With Palace fans they’re always there, you hear them cheering you, supporting you. When we were in America there was quite a lot of them at our training sessions and we’re thinking, how did they get all the way over the pond across to America!
“I remember at the end of last season when I went to a few games, the atmosphere was tremendous, and it was really good to be around, so I know they’ll be there definitely".
Palace play Valencia this Saturday 6th August at 3pm. Admission for under 12s is free when accompanied by a paying adult, and prior to kick-off, there will be entertainment and activities for younger fans in our Fan Zone as well as competitions and free giveaways.