Crystal Palace and West Ham United will resume their rivalry as both teams look to bounce back from defeats to steer clear of the bottom three.
Some may suggest the Roy Hodgson bounce-back might have waned off after Crystal Palace, who face West Ham United next, went winless in their last two games. Even in that scenario, the three wins in as many opening games for the 75-year-old have helped the Eagles steer clear of the bottom three and sit in 12th.
While they failed to capitalise against Everton, Palace put their position under threat in midweek. With a win, Wolves got on level with points with Hodgson’s men and consolidated their position on the table away from the danger zone.
Against the Hammers ⏪📸#CPFC pic.twitter.com/szupvewRN7
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) April 27, 2023
A Joachim Andersen own goal, coupled with a Sam Johnstone error leading to a penalty, allowed Julen Lopetegui’s men a stunning victory at Molineux. Palace will hope to bounce back when they meet a resurgent West Ham United at Selhurst Park. The Hammers are also looking to bounce back from their midweek loss.
David Moyes may have stabilised his side, who, at one stage, seemed destined to play out a relegation battle. Instead, due to recent results, the Hammers find themselves in 15th place, only five points off 18th-placed Leicester City.
The draw against Arsenal, sandwiched between wins over Fulham and Bournemouth, gave them that cushion over the danger zone. Fortunately for Moyes, their relegation rivals did not improve their results during this period. It has thus allowed West Ham to open up a decent gap over the bottom three.
However, that three-game unbeaten run in the league got snapped in two when Liverpool visited the London Stadium in midweek. While the game seemed equally contested, a Joel Matip winner in the second half settled the tie. Moyes will hope his team shows character to bounce back and get towards the magic 40-point marker to confirm their safety. A loss against Palace will let their opponents reach that target on Saturday.
Team News & Tactics
The midweek defeat did come at a cost for Crystal Palace, with Joachim Andersen’s evening going from bad to worse. After scoring an own goal, the defender got taken off at halftime with discomfort. While Hodgson has not ruled the centre-back out of the weekend, he might remain wary of risking the Dane.
⚡️🔋#CPFC | @wilfriedzaha pic.twitter.com/dtmhiDKUxo
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) April 27, 2023
Chris Richards could replace Andersen at the heart of the Palace defence and partner Marc Guehi. Meanwhile, there were positive updates on Wilfried Zaha and Nathaniel Clyne. After getting deemed unfit for the midweek clash, the pair were in training and could feature on the bench.
Joel Ward will certainly continue at right-back, while Jordan Ayew should keep Zaha’s left-wing place for now. Hodgson could name a near-identical side from midweek, with Richards the only exception if Andersen cannot return.
Odsonne Edouard should continue to lead the line with Michael Olise on the right. Eberechi Eze will hope to recover his form after a good period in the three wins since Hodgson’s arrival. Sam Johnstone should keep his place in goal despite that error in midweek leading to the Wolves penalty.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Johnstone; Ward, Richards, Guehi, Mitchell; Eze, Doucoure, Schlupp; Olise, Edouard, Ayew
West Ham United
David Moyes may not change his lineup despite the midweek defeat to Liverpool. The current group of players must have encouraged the manager over the last few games. Hence, he will likely give it another go against Palace.
Back to it ⚒️ pic.twitter.com/6MV4Sgtrre
— West Ham United (@WestHam) April 27, 2023
Gianluca Scamacca remains the only absentee from the West Ham squad. Moyes does have few options to play around with if there’s fatigue in this team after playing a few games in close proximity. Thilo Kehrer and Emerson are options to freshen up the defence. But the manager may not prefer to change his backline for now.
Similarly, Danny Ings and Pablo Fornals are knocking on the door. Depending on how tired the players in those positions are, Moyes will make a late call. For now, the manager should stick with Said Benrahma and Michail Antonio in those positions to keep the momentum going.
Lucas Paqueta has been shining in his advanced role and producing quality moments. He should lead the attack and support Antonio and Jarrod Bowen in the final third. Moyes will trust the Declan Rice-Tomas Soucek axis in midfield, which has proved efficient in the last few weeks.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Paqueta, Benrahma; Antonio
- Crystal Palace have scored at least two goals in six of their last seven matches against West Ham United in all competitions.
- Crystal Palace have suffered defeat only once in their last seven Premier League games at Selhurst Park.
- West Ham United have scored in each of their last 11 Premier League games.
- West Ham United have won back-to-back away games in the Premier League.
- West Ham United have won their last two games at Selhurst Park by a single goal.
Player to Watch
Keep pushing, Hammers! ⚒️ pic.twitter.com/VSZqhzR0DO
— West Ham United (@WestHam) April 26, 2023
The lack of goals from the attacking setup has been the biggest criticism thrown at West Ham during the season, resulting in them flirting with the relegation zone. While they are not too far away from the bottom three, their prowess in front of goal has massively improved, owing to the form of a few individuals, including Jarrod Bowen.
The winger has been tremendous in the last few games and shown signs of re-capturing his old form. The timing of the resurgence will certainly please Moyes, and he will hope for Bowen to show consistency in these last few games. A good performance against Palace will allow the winger to grow confident and let his team steer further away from danger.
Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham United
Crystal Palace went on the three-game winning run only to drop points in their last two. In those clashes, they failed to score but did create ample chances for themselves in front of goal. While their recent performances against West Ham point at goals, will that prove enough to secure a victory?
Despite their midweek defeat, the Hammers are also in a good run of form. They have won their last two games at Selhurst Park and will try for a third. The improved form of their attackers showcases they have goals in their locker. Hence this game could end in an entertaining draw with plenty of goals to come.
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