Palace aim to take a big step on their road to safety tomorrow afternoon when they host Middlesbrough at Selhurst for the first time since 2013.
Aitor Karanka brings his Boro side to south London having not tasted victory in their last eight matches, and they currently languish in 16th position in the table, three points ahead of Sam Allardyce's squad.
While Palace enjoyed a rest weekend, the Teesiders spent last weekend in FA Cup action against Oxford United and despite being 2-0 ahead, they scraped through to the quarter-finals thanks to a last gasp strike from Cristhian Stuani.
However, despite struggling for wins in the league of late, they boast one of the meanest defences in the division, holding Everton to a goalless draw in their last league encounter a fortnight ago, and in six matches so far against the teams alongside them in the bottom six, they have taken 11 points and lost only once - albeit, in the home game against Palace
Aitor Karanka: "That record [against the bottom six] is another thing to be confident about. When we have to defend or try to add one point we are doing that but when we have to win we doing that too.
"We have played a lot with teams who are in the top ten of the table and even playing against them we have had chances to win those games.
"Now we have a chance to play against a team in our position and I am confident."
Crystal Palace: Scott Dann is still unavailable even though he is back training, this game has come to soon for him after his nerve injury and Mamadou Sakho is vying for a centre-back spot.
Steve Mandanda is back in training again after his knee injury, but Connor Wickham and Pape Souare remain out long-term.
Middlesbrough: Calum Chambers and George Friend face late fitness tests ahead of the game as they aim to recover from foot and calf injuries respectively.
Antonio Barragan is more likely to miss out though with a pulled hamstring.
HEAD TO HEAD
|Palace wins||Draws||Middlesbrough wins|
The Eagles won the reverse fixture 2-1 back in September – they’ve not done a league double over Middlesbrough since the first ever Premier League campaign in 1992/93.
None of the last 15 league meetings between these sides at Selhurst Park have ended in a draw, with Palace winning 10 of these.
Wilfried Zaha has been involved in four goals in his last two league games against Middlesbrough (one goal, three assists).
Middlesbrough are on the current longest winless run in the Premier League, failing to win any of their last eight games (W0 D4 L4).
Middlesbrough have conceded just 13 times on the road this season in the Premier League in 12 games (1.1 goals per game). Only Chelsea (11) and Manchester United have conceded fewer away goals.
Just 24% of Middlesbrough’s passes this season have been made in the attacking third of the pitch; the lowest proportion in the Premier League.
It's the second Palace appointment for Bobby Madley this term, after he refereed the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City back in November. Of the eight Eagles matches he has overseen, they have won just once - at Stoke City in December 2015.
Referee: R Madley
Assistants: P Kirkup and M Perry
Fourth Official: L Mason
LAST MEETING AT SELHURST PARK
16th February 2013
Crystal Palace 4-1 Middlesbrough
Crystal Palace moved up to fourth with a comprehensive victory over play-off rivals Middlesbrough.
Glenn Murray gave Palace an early lead with his close-range finish while Peter Ramage doubled their advantage after the break with a smart swivel and shot.
Murray made it 3-0 with a fine strike from 20 yards before Boro pulled one back through Faris Haroun's neat finish from Ishmael Miller's fine pass.
But veteran Kevin Philips sealed the rout with a late deflected goal.
Tickets for this game are now sold out.
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