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Match Previews

The Palace Preview: West Ham United

9 February 2019

Tomorrow, in a 15.00 kick-off, Crystal Palace host east London Premier League rivals West Ham United as they seek to build on strong recent form against a Hammers side struggling for consistency.

Though Manuel Pellegrini's men recorded a valiant draw with league-leaders Liverpool on Monday night, their recent luck has been somewhat hit-and-miss having beaten Arsenal but lost to AFC Wimbledon in the space of two weeks.

In the league, they have lost two of their last three matches and currently sit in 12th place. Fixtures played away from home have been a struggle for the Irons over recent weeks and they have lost all four of their latest away matches in all competitions, with Palace having won their past two fixtures at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles have turned their league home form around to have picked up 10 points from a possible 18 in their past six matches, having taken just two from their opening six. Palace's history with West Ham will not inspire confidence, however, having not won on home turf against the Hammers since 2013.

That match saw the Eagles run-out as 1-0 victors in the fifth of six fixtures between the two sides whereby Palace went undefeated. It was Marouane Chamakh who netted just before half-time that day as Palace sat second from bottom in the league in a season they would ultimately go on to end in 11th.

The win is only one of six home victories over West Ham for Palace with the most recent after that coming in 2004, then 1995 and then, remarkably, 1915.

Roy Hodgson's men were, however, unlucky to leave the London Stadium empty-handed in the last clash between these two clubs as West Ham ran-out 3-2 victors back in December. Playing that day was Declan Rice, West Ham's 20-year-old star who has notably been grabbing headlines this season. The defender played in a holding midfield role against Liverpool on Monday and stood out on a pitch replete with talent. He is certainly one for Palace fans to keep an eye on tomorrow.

Elsewhere, fans will want to pay attention to Brighton and Hove Albion's clash with Burnley. The Seagulls only sit one point ahead of the Eagles and haven't won a league match since the end of December. Burnley, however, are unbeaten in the league since then and so this weekend is a good opportunity for Palace to move up to 13th place with a win.

Tactical overview

West Ham have a well-stocked squad and have been able to adapt depending on the team they've faced, working most notably against Liverpool, as they frustrated the Reds by sitting deep, pressing on the ball and intercepting the build-up of any offensive moves to launch counter-attacks.

Playing away from home against - naturally - a less attacking side than Liverpool, West Ham are still likely to look to counter-attack but will probably sit less deep on the pitch than they did on Monday night.

Your matchday stat and ref

Crystal Palace have scored the fewest (3) and conceded the joint-fewest (3, level with Liverpool) Premier League goals in the opening 30 minutes of matches this season.

Craig Pawson will officiate this fixture, having last refereed a Palace game when Chelsea won 1-0 at Selhurst in December. He will be supported by Lee Betts, Ian Hussin and Andy Woolmer as fourth official.

Team news

The Palace squad has suffered from a few injury knocks this week. Whilst the majority of the team are fit, Roy Hodgson revealed that Connor Wickham, Cheikhou Kouyate, James Tomkins and Julian Speroni are not available for selection. Pape Souare remains absent with a long-term injury.

West Ham are boosted by the return of Marko Arnautovic and Aaron Cresswell, however Manuel Lanzini is still unavailable alongside Andriy Yarmolenko, Fabian Balbuena, Carlos Sanchez, Winston Reid and Jack Wilshere.

Live coverage

This game is not being shown live on TV in the United Kingdom, however you can listen to full commentary of it for just £1.49 via Palace Audio. Click here to find out more.

For all fans living abroad, check out our Worldwide TV listings to see where you can enjoy the game.

Alternatively, if living abroad, why not find out if there is an Official Supporters' Club meeting near you?

Tickets are still available for this clash, though there is a limited amount left. To purchase your place amongst the Selhurst Park crowd, click here now.


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