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Match Previews

Asia Trophy Preview: Crystal Palace v West Brom

22 July 2017

After falling to a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday, the Eagles will face West Bromwich Albion in a third/fourth place play-off as they complete their Premier League Asia Trophy campaign on Saturday (11am BST).

The Baggies were beaten by Leicester City 7-6 on penalties after the sides played out a 1-1 draw at the Hong Kong Stadium, just before Palace were defeated 2-0 by the Reds who will take on the Foxes in the final following the play-off.

After the game, Frank de Boer and his squad will return to London on Sunday evening to continue their preparations ahead of the 2017/18 campaign, which is just three weeks away.

Busy summer ahead for Baggies

Tony Pulis’ side have scheduled 10 pre-season fixtures this summer, with the first of those coming against Slavia Prague after a gruelling fitness trip to Austria, similar to the one he took the Eagles on in 2014. Albion were defeated 2-1 by the Czech side, with James McClean getting their goal.

After that they headed to Hong Kong and faced Leicester in the other semi-final. Jay Rodriguez opened the scoring with a thunderbolt from 25 yards, but Riyad Mahrez equalised with a solo effort soon after to tie things up, meaning a shootout was required to separate the sides with Sam Field missing the crucial kick.

Six matches have then been organised against lower-league opposition, although they take place on three separate days meaning the squad will be split, before their preparations conclude with a trip to Deportivo La Coruna.

Opposition view

Tony Pulis: "We’re in a world now where whatever you give people they want a bit more, and a bit more and a bit more. They never want to look at the big picture and say ‘they’ve done really well’.

“For ourselves, looking at last season, we finished tenth, and for the first time in a long, long time we’ve actually been the most successful side in the Midlands.

"When you look at our illustrious rivals, who are a league down, this club has done absolutely fantastic. Financially rock solid and to finish in the top 10 in the Premier League is a great success. Yes we want to improve, we want to bring better players in but for us it’s small steps. We’ll not get carried away with anything."

Team news

Palace could call upon Jonny Williams and Yohan Cabaye after they missed the Liverpool match with little knocks sustained in training.

Wilfried Zaha should be OK to play a part despite being on the receiving end of a heavy challenge by Marko Grujic in the game against the Reds, while it remains to be seen if De Boer rotates his starting line-up to give more minutes to those players who came off the bench in that game.

Two of West Brom’s regulars haven’t travelled with the squad, as Gareth McAuley continues his rehabilitation from a thigh injury sustained on international duty in the summer, while James Morrison has been excused due to the bereavement of a close friend.

Despite being left at home for the trip to Austria after a reported bust-up with Pulis, Nacer Chadli featured against Leicester in the opening game.

Watch out for

Rodriguez is the biggest name of the three of West Brom’s summer recruits, and he got his Baggies career off to a great start by getting on the scoresheet in fine style against Leicester. The England international made a reported £15 million switch from Southampton in the summer, and hopes to put his injury problems behind him at his new club in what could potentially be a big coup for Pulis.

The only other major piece of business has seen Egyptian defender Ahmed Hegazy sign on loan from Al Ahly. Capped 39 times by his country, the centre-back featured against the Foxes on Wednesday and will remain with the club until the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

Last time we met

It was back in March when two fantastic strikes from Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend sealed an important win for Palace in their fight against relegation last term.

After a nervy beginning, the deadlock was broken by Zaha when he was found on the left by Yohan Cabaye and a nice touch with his chest set him up perfectly to fire past Ben Foster.

The quality of that goal though was superseded by Townsend who dispossessed Jonathan Leko on the edge of his own area, and he dribbled 80 yards and beat a couple of players before also finding the net with a strike that would be named the Premier League’s Goal of the Month, as well as Palace’s Goal of the Season.

Tickets, travel and coverage

Tickets for the second day of the Premier League Asia Trophy are sold out.

All games take place at the Hong Kong Stadium, which is based at 55 Eastern Hospital Road, So Kon Po, Causeway Bay.

The nearest train station is Causeway Bay, Exit F (Hong Kong Line), which is a 15-minute walk away. It also served by Citybus number 5, KMB number 678 and number 936.

British supporters can watch the game live on Sky Sports, with highlights uploaded to Palace TV around four hours after the game’s conclusion. You can also follow the game live by following us on Twitter.


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