Crystal Palace vs Fulham Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Crystal Palace and Fulham will look to resume their Premier League campaigns strongly when they meet at Selhurst Park on Monday.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is over, and the Premier League season resumes with the traditional Boxing Day games. The action on Monday kicks off with a London Derby, where Brentford and Tottenham will face off. And Crystal Palace and Fulham will meet in another London Derby at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace had a difficult start to the 2022/23 season, facing the Premier League bigwigs one after the other. But Patrick Vieira’s men gradually built momentum and went into the World Cup break on the back of just two defeats in seven top-flight outings. And the run of results helped the Eagles climb to the 11th spot on the table.

On the other hand, Fulham lost some momentum heading into the World Cup break, failing to win three games in a row. So Marco Silva would have been thankful for the forced arrest of his team’s slide. But the Cottagers have produced some impressive results this season, taking points off Liverpool while running Arsenal, Manchester City, and Manchester United close.

Crystal Palace and Fulham last faced off at Selhurst Park in February 2021 and played out a goalless draw. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the Premier League encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Crystal Palace

Patrick Vieira has a few pressing roster issues hampering his preparations ahead of the visit of Fulham. On Monday, the Crystal Palace manager will be bereft of the services of four first-team players.

Marc Guehi is the major absentee for Crystal Palace due to a suspension after accumulating five bookings. The English defender has joined Sam Johnstone (lower back), Nathan Ferguson (foot), and James McArthur (groin) on the sidelines.

James Tomkins should fill Guehi’s void at the heart of the Crystal Palace defence against Fulham. The veteran defender will pair up with Joachim Anderson. Tyrick Mitchell and Nathaniel Clyne will form the full-back partnership, with Vicente Guaita picking himself between the sticks.

Cheick Doucoure has established himself as the link between defence and attack. And the Malian midfielder will sit at the base of the midfield unit, protecting the backline. Jeffrey Schlupp and Eberechi Eze should be the box-to-box midfielders providing defensive support to the 22-year-old.

The duo will also work hard and support the attackers higher up the pitch. Wilfried Zaha will indubitably be the go-to player for Vieira in the final third. The experienced attacker will look to target the weak link in Fulham’s backline. And Odsonne Edouard and Jordan Ayew should join Zaha in the offensive unit.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Tomkins, Mitchell; Schlupp, Doucoure, Eze; Ayew, Edouard, Zaha


Like his counterpart in the Crystal Palace dugout, Marco Silva has numerous concerns to contend with ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park. The Fulham manager might be without five first-team players on Monday.

Silva is sweating over the fitness of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Antonee Robinson, who returned to London with foot injuries they picked up at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The duo might not be fit enough to start against Crystal Palace and might miss the entire game. Layvin Kurzawa (knock), Manor Solomon (knee), and Neeskens Kebano (Achilles) are the other absentees.

Carlos Vinicius will get another chance to impress as the leader of the Fulham attack if Mitrovic is unavailable. The Brazilian striker will link up with compatriots Andreas Pereira and Willian in the final third. Pereira will be the pivotal figure for Fulham in Mitrovic’s absence. Meanwhile, Bobby Decordova-Reid will provide the X-Factor.

Harrison Reed and Joao Palhinha will combine in the midfield unit, forming a defensive-minded double pivot. The duo will cover the backline, which might have a slightly makeshift look in Robinson’s absence.

Tim Ream might have to fill in as a left-back, meaning Tosin Adarabioyo and Issa Diop will form the central defensive partnership. Tete will complete the backline, but he will be the weak link in Fulham’s defence. Finally, Bernd Leno will take his place between the sticks against Crystal Palace.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Leno; Tete, Adarabioyo, Diop, Ream; Reed, Palhinha; Reid, Pereira, Willian; Vinicius

Key Stats

  • Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last five Premier League meetings with Fulham (W3 D2) since a 4-1 home loss in October 2013. The Cottagers have failed to score in three of their four Premier League away games against Crystal Palace (W1 D1 L2), the exception being a 4-1 victory in October 2013.
  • Fulham have won just one of their last 28 Premier League London Derbies (D5 L22), beating Brentford 3-2 earlier this season. They have scored as many goals in their four derbies this season as they had in their previous 14 in the top flight (6).
  • Crystal Palace have won just one of their last seven Boxing Day games in the Premier League, losing the last two by a 3-0 scoreline. They last lost three consecutive league games on this day between 1999 and 2001. On the other hand, six of Fulham’s last eight Premier League Boxing Day games have been stalemates, the exceptions being a 3-1 loss to West Ham United in 2010 and a 2-1 win at Norwich City in 2013.
  • Crystal Palace have won their last three Premier League home games. They have not won four in a row at Selhurst Park in the top flight since December 1990.
  • 147 of Wilfried Zaha’s 300 off-the-ball runs for Crystal Palace in the Premier League this season have seen a teammate trying to find him (49%), the highest percentage of targeted runs by any player to make at least 100.

Player to Watch

Wilfried Zaha

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Wilfried Zaha is inarguably the most eye-catching footballer in the game. And there is even more hype surrounding the Ivory Coast international amid uncertainties around his Crystal Palace future. The 30-year-old has emerged as a target for several Premier League bigwigs and might use the next few months as an audition.

Meanwhile, Patrick Vieira recently spoke out about Zaha’s situation, suggesting he wants the Crystal Palace talisman to remain at Selhurst Park. As for matters on the pitch, the experienced attacker will be Palace’s best bet to unlock Fulham’s defence on Monday.


Crystal Palace 2-1 Fulham

Crystal Palace and Fulham are evenly matched heading into their meeting at Selhurst Park. But the Eagles might have a slight advantage due to two potential absences for the visitors. In particular, Marco Silva will sorely miss Aleksandar Mitrovic if the Serb fails to regain fitness to feature on Monday.

But the Cottagers have enough quality to trouble the hosts, especially with Andreas Pereira being top-notch this season. Expect Crystal Palace and Fulham to produce an engaging battle, with Patrick Vieira’s men edging the contest with a narrow 2-1 win.

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