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      As it happened: Palace and Botafogo locked in stalemate friendly

      Crystal Palace

      Crystal Palace held Botafogo to a 0-0 draw in today's winter friendly. Below you can find out how the match went and see all the reaction.


      • Patrick Vieira names a strong starting XI which he rotated nine of at half-time
      • Palace start brightly but fail to create many chances, the best being shut-out by Lucas Perri as Odsonne Edouard broke-through
      • Wilfried Zaha is denied a penalty after a rough Rafael challenge in the box
      • The No.11 soon wins one shortly after but Perri saves the spot kick
      • Half-time: Crystal Palace 0-0 Botafogo
      • Vieira makes nine changes at half-time and Botafogo start brightest
      • Palace’s new-look side settles after an hour and begins to dominate
      • Adryelson makes a perfectly-timed block to deny Jean-Philippe Mateta in front of an open goal
      • Full-time: Crystal Palace 0-0 Botafogo

      Crystal Palace began to build back up to competitive football with a mid-season friendly against Botafogo on Saturday afternoon.

      The two teams needed the fixture to increase fitness levels and prepare for their respective seasons to return, and both were able to get plenty of minutes into players’ legs.

      While the goalless scoreline did have an air of pre-season about it, fans, including 1,000 in Botafogo’s end, were treated to several chances – mostly from Palace.

      The south Londoners started on top and began to threaten their guests when Michael Olise struck high and goalkeeper Lucas Perri denied Odsonne Edouard as he broke-through one-on-one.

      Their clearest chance came from the spot, when the referee awarded a penalty for the second of two dubious challenges on Wilfried Zaha. Dusting himself off the Palace No.11 struck from 12 yards, but Perri, who performed well all game, made an impressive block.

      At half-time Patrick Vieira made nine changes to share the run-out’s benefits across the squad, and Palace took a while to regain their earlier confidence. Once they had settled back in teenager John-Kymani Gordon forced Perri into another good block, tipping the ball onto the post after the forward headed Ebere Eze’s free-kick.

      The 70th-minute brought a succession of chaotic chances for Palace, but with Jean-Philippe Mateta and Malcolm Ebiowei somehow denied over and over, parity seemed to be guaranteed at full-time.

      Balmer: "I'm glad the gaffer gave me a chance"


      After an impressive performance, Kofi Balmer told Palace TV: "I’ve been in training a lot, so to get the chance to play in a match was a good opportunity for me. I’m glad the gaffer gave me the chance and I think I’ve done well to keep pushing and be in and around the place."


      You may have missed this earlier...

      Full-time: Crystal Palace 0-0 Botafogo


      A spirited start to the winter break schedule. Credit to the 1,000 visiting fans.

      Up next Palace travel to Turkey for two more friendlies, and will return to host Real Valladolid at Selhurst.

      90 mins

      There will be two minutes of added time.

      88 mins

      Mateta collects the ball and runs at Botafogo's backline, producing a silky trick and seeing his strike go behind.

      Botafogo substitution

      80 mins

      On: Jacob Montes and Luis Henrique

      Off: Jeffinho and Lucas Fernandes

      Palace substitution

      76 mins

      On: Killian Phillips

      Off: Kofi Balmer

      A great game from Kofi.


      73 mins

      How Palace aren't ahead here is anyone's guess.

      Schlupp drives into the box under pressure and forces the ball to Malcolm Ebiowei, whose strike hits a visiting defender on the goal-line almost inadvertently.

      Moments later Mateta sends the ball across the box to Ebiowei, who is closed out quickly by the defence.

      This and the last two chances make it quite remarkable this score is still 0-0.

      71 mins

      That's a brilliant challenge. Mateta is in front of an open goal and about to score, but Adryelson makes a perfectly-timed block to deny him.

      Not bad, Jeff

      68 mins

      Jeffrey Schlupp sends the ball high from 25 yards, but it's not too far off.

      65 mins

      Botafogo's closest chance: Junior Santos whips the ball over from 10 yards.

      Palace substitution

      64 mins

      On: Jack Wells-Morrison

      Off: John-Kymani Gordon

      Gordon did well in the hour he was given.

      Botafogo substitution

      63 mins

      On: Victor Sá

      Off: Tiquinho


      62 mins

      Gordon lands a header on target after an Ebere Eze free-kick, but Perri denies him on the stretch, glancing the ball onto the post.

      60 mins

      Palace are far more composed now and are beginning to control the game.

      57 mins

      Botafogo have settled into this half better than Palace, and have seen a few tame efforts go begging.


      55 mins

      Patrick de Paula just sent the ball sailing off the pitch from the halfway line as he tried to catch Jack Butland off guard.

      50 mins

      Botafogo have started well as their hosts adjust to the changes; Jeffinho in particular is pushing forward.

      Back underway

      45 mins

      We're back out for the second-half, with Palace playing a new-look XI and Botafogo making two changes: Patrick de Paula and Junior Santos for Gabriel Pires and Gustavo Sauer.

      Kofi Balmer and John-Kymani Gordon are the only first-half players still on.

      Palace: Butland, Adaramola, Balmer, Guéhi, Grehan, Doucouré, Eze, Schlupp, Ebiowei, Mateta, Gordon.

      In numbers


      Palace stats shown first

      • Possession: 60.6% v 39.4%
      • Shots: 6 v 2
      • Corners: 2 v 0
      • Free-kicks: 6 v 5

      Half-time: Palace 0-0 Botafogo


      Palace have looked bright but have struggled to break through. Lucas Perri produced a commendable penalty save towards the end of the first-half.

      It's been a good run-out for the lads, with 11 changes expected during the break.

      Last ditch stuff

      45 mins

      Moments before the half-time whistle Botafogo make a desperate block to keep Edouard out as he chipped a ball back in the box.

      43 mins

      Another foul from Rafael on Zaha, with the former teammates clashing several times now.

      35 mins

      There's no denying it this time, that was a penalty.

      Zaha is again brought down – this time by Adryleson – and the referee blows his whistle.

      Perri make an impressive save to deny the subsequent spot kick.

      33 mins

      Palace are pushing a little harder now, with Zaha spearheading an attack down the left-wing.

      30 mins

      Palace ask for a penalty after Rafael felled Zaha in the box.

      You get the sense that in a competitive fixture the sense of injustice would be keener.


      25 mins

      Good from Perri. Olise takes a drilled shot from the edge of the box, but the towering goalkeeper gets down well and right across the goal.

      That's probably the closest chance of the half.

      21 mins

      Luka Milivojević shrugs off a knock as the referee takes a conservative approach to using his whistle.

      19 mins

      Tiquinho sends a ball across the box from the right flank, but Palace are on hand to mop it up.

      There are plenty of tricks and flicks on display from the Brazilians.

      16 mins

      There's a shake of the head from Patrick Vieira in the dugout. It's been fairly quiet so far, but Palace have looked bright. High standards from the manager.

      11 mins

      Olise plays-in Edouard through the back four, but the Frenchman is closed down by goalkeeper Lucas Perri after his first touch.

      Own today’s shirts

      10 mins

      Bidding is now live on matchworn shirts from today’s rare winter friendly. Find out more and get your hands on one here.

      7 mins

      John-Kymani Gordon puts a great ball across the box, but there's no one in red and blue to meet it, and Rafael puts it out to safety.

      A great move

      4 mins

      Palace's men on the left link up very well, with Jaïro Riedewald and Wilfried Zaha trying to break-through. It ends with Michael Olise winning a free-kick.

      Olise pings it too high.



      Here we go: the pennants have been swapped, coin tossed and fans rushed in. Palace kick us off.


      Five minutes until kick-off.

      Tune-in to Palace TV here or in the app, or grab your Palace TV+ pass here.

      Quite the journey…


      How to watch live


      Palace TV+ is broadcasting this game globally today, and you can purchase your pass here.

      If you’re watching from abroad, the below countries are also showing it live:

      • Bonnier (Sweden)
      • Charlton (Israel)
      • Pro TV (Romania)
      • Sport TV (Slovenia)
      • VG (Norway)

      SBT free-to-air broadcast to the Brazilian states below:

      • Alagoas
      • Belém
      • Brasília
      • Mato Grosso
      • Mato Grosso do Sul
      • Rio de Janeiro

      Mid-season schedule


      With today’s game kicking-off a schedule of four winter friendlies, how do the next few weeks look for Palace?

      • Saturday, 3rd December: Palace v Botafogo (12:30)
      • Wednesday, 7th December: Palace v Trabzonspor (16:00)
      • Sunday, 11th December: Palace v Napoli (15:00)
      • Friday, 16th December: Palace v Real Valladolid (18:00)

      You can buy tickets for Valladolid here.

      From the gaffer


      In his pre-match programme notes, Patrick Vieira said: “I understand today’s visitors are bringing a large following from Brazil, so it will be good to meet a club that is part of our family. Of course I’m also looking forward to seeing you all again – I hope you’ve had an enjoyable few weeks since we last came together.

      “Over the break the players were instructed to enjoy two weeks off before coming back to work hard during a busy second part of the season in which they’ll have relatively little time off.

      “The team returned on Monday and we stepped up our intensity day by day. The schedule for these first two weeks has been to train every day, with double sessions on Tuesday and Thursday, then to play today and travel to Turkey tomorrow. On tour we’ll be on the field training or playing every day, so it’s a busy programme for the players. This is the time to get miles in our legs.”

      You can buy a copy of the special edition Botafogo programme for sellers around Selhurst Park.

      Support Palace for Life


      Palace for Life’s Christmas Foodbank Drive will be outside the Fanzone. Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food with them which they will be able to drop off, or you can donate via cash or card.

      Support the Palace Christmas Foodbank Drive | Palace dor Life

      Confirmed team news


      Here are the finalised teams for today's game.

      Palace first-half: Guaita (GK), Riedewald, Balmer, Tomkins, Clyne, Milivojević, Hughes, Olise, Zaha, Gordon, Edouard.

      Palace second-half: Butland (GK), Adaramola, Phillips, Guéhi, Grehan, Doucouré, Wells-Morrison, Schlupp, Eze, Ebiowei, Mateta.

      Botafogo: Perri (GK), Rafael, Adryelson, Cuesta, Marçal, Tchê, Pires, Fernandes, Sauer, Jeffinho, Soares.

      Subs: D. Borges (GK), Gabriel (GK), Carli, Kanu, Sampaio, De Paula, Jacob, Valim, Piazon, Santos, Sá, Henrique.


      The lads were hard at work this week. Ahead of team news at 11:30, check out some of the best shots from training below.

      Taking Palace to South America


      Palace’s connections with Brazil go beyond the fans, as we caught up with São Paulo Crystal, a club based neither in São Paulo nor Crystal Palace – but inspired by both.

      Find out why they sport a Palace crest here.


      We hosted Botafogo at the Academy site for their preparation this week. See how they got on below.


      Here’s the visitors’ reaction to landing in London. It’s currently 26 degrees in Rio, 20 degrees warmer than Croydon. Welcome to England, lads!


      Talking of Brazilians in south London, we’re set to welcome 1,000+ Botafogo fans in the Whitehorse Lane stand this afternoon. It’s quite a turnout for a club based over 5,700 miles away.


      We asked Zuleika more about swapping Rio for London, and she explained: “My parents are both from London – my mum is actually from Crystal Palace – and they decided to go to Rio for an adventure, and ended up spending six years there!

      “I was born in Rio de Janeiro but came to London when I was two years old… I grew up hearing lots about [Brazil] and all our family friends in Rio. The sounds of the samba drums when I was a baby must have stuck as I’ve been a dancer with the London School of Samba for the last 10 years.

      “My parents weren’t big football fans and being in an all-girl’s school, I didn’t get the chance to play football, so it was a bit of a slow burn. One memory that stands out is the 1990 FA Cup final with Man United – everyone was so excited; I was heartbroken when we lost.

      “I finally became a Season Ticket holder this year after moving to South Norwood. I absolutely love it, the team and players, the community. I’m so proud to support Palace, it’s such a great club.”

      From Botafogo to SE25


      Ahead of today’s game we heard from Palace fan Zuleika Henderson, who was born in Botafogo and later moved to south London.

      She says she’s “beyond excited” for the meeting of her two clubs today, adding: “I’m not sure who to support! The way I see it I’ll be able to celebrate whoever gets a goal. I can’t wait, it will be a brilliant game.”

      Team news


      Team news came in early for this fixture, with both clubs publishing their XIs on Friday afternoon.

      Palace will field two strong teams comprised mostly of senior players for the two halves against Botafogo.

      Both teams are subject to change until confirmed at 11:30 GMT.

      Palace first-half: Guaita (GK), Clyne, Tomkins, Guéhi, Riedewald, Milivojević, Hughes, Olise, Zaha, Gordon, Edouard.

      Palace second-half: Butland (GK), Ward, Grehan, Balmer, Adaramola, Doucouré, Wells-Morrison, Schlupp, Eze, Ebiowei, Mateta.

      Botafogo: Perri (GK), Rafael, Adryelson, Cuesta, Marçal, Tchê, Pires, Fernandes, Sauer, Jeffinho, Soares.

      Subs: D. Borges (GK), Gabriel (GK), Carli, Kanu, Sampaio, De Paula, Jacob, Valim, Piazon, Santos, Sá, Henrique.

      Botafogo manager Luis Castro
      Botafogo manager Luis Castro


      This is Palace’s first game against a top-flight Brazilian team, with Botafogo finishing 11th in the league this year.

      Among their most notable names are former Chelsea and Fulham winger Lucas Piazon, three-time title winner Rafael da Silva and former Palace goalkeeper Lucas Perri.

      You can read more about today’s guests here.

      Good morning and welcome


      Good morning from Selhurst Park. We’ve all become accustomed to waking up and watching football, so to those of you rising and jumping onto today’s live blog for the breakfast fix, thanks for being here.

      Crystal Palace get back into action with this afternoon’s friendly against Brazilian Série A outfit Botafogo, their first of four friendlies during the World Cup break.

      Patrick Vieira gave his players two weeks off before getting them back up to speed with an intense training schedule over the past five days.

      After this clash he will take the squad to Turkey for matches with Trabzonspor and Napoli, and host Real Valladolid before welcoming back the Premier League on Boxing Day.