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Preview: Crystal Palace vs. West Ham United - prediction, team news, lineups
01/01/2022 12:50:02

West Ham United will be looking to boost their top-four hopes in the Premier League when they head to Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon to take on Crystal Palace.


The Hammers will enter the contest off the back of a 4-1 win at Watford, while Palace recorded a 3-0 victory over basement side Norwich City last time out.


We say: Crystal Palace 1-1 West Ham United


This is a really difficult match for West Ham, and a point would be welcome under the circumstances. Palace's home form this season has been strong, and with key players likely to return for this match, we can see Vieira's side being good enough for a point against their opponents this weekend.


Match preview


Palace boss Patrick Vieira was again not on the touchline against Norwich on Tuesday, having recently tested positive for coronavirus, but assistant manager Osian Roberts managed to lead the team to a 3-0 victory over the Canaries at Selhurst Park.


A brilliant first-half performance saw the Eagles score three times against the league's basement side, with Odsonne Edouard, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jeffrey Schlupp finding the back of the net.


Palace have won five, drawn eight and lost six of their 19 Premier League matches this season to collect 23 points, which has left them in 11th spot in the table, only two points behind eighth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.


The Eagles have been impressive at Selhurst Park this season, suffering just one league defeat in front of their own supporters, while they have picked up seven points from their last three home league fixtures.


Palace have only been victorious in two of their last 13 top-flight matches against the Hammers, though, and suffered a 3-2 loss in the corresponding fixture between the two sides last term.


West Ham managed to return to winning ways in impressive fashion on Tuesday afternoon, coming from behind to record a 4-1 victory over relegation-threatened Watford, with the result following back-to-back losses against Arsenal and Southampton, which had seen them lose ground in the top-four race.


The win over the Hornets was therefore incredibly important, and they are firmly in the top-four mix at this stage, currently sitting fifth in the table, four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.


David Moyes's side were knocked out of the EFL Cup by rivals Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month but will be in FA Cup action against Leeds United on January 9, while they impressively topped their Europa League group to secure a spot in the knockout round of the competition.


The 2021-22 campaign could be a famous season for West Ham, but they have two difficult away Premier League games in January, facing Palace on New Year's Day before visiting Manchester United later in the month.


The 4-1 success over Watford would have boosted confidence, but Moyes's side have lost three of their last five away fixtures in the Premier League, picking up just four points in the process.


Team News


Palace will be without Joachim Andersen, James McCarthur, Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and Nathaniel Clyne for this match, but Wilfried Zaha is back from suspension and will feature before linking up with Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations.


Conor Gallagher is also expected to return to the starting XI, with the on-loan Chelsea midfielder potentially taking the place of Will Hughes for the home side.


Zaha should come in for Mateta in the final third of the field, while Andersen's absence in a defensive area will open the door for James Tomkins to feature at the heart of the defence.


As for West Ham, Declan Rice will be available for selection, having served a suspension against Watford, and the England international will come straight back into the starting side.


Rice for Mark Noble might be the only change from the win over the Hornets, with Manuel Lanzini, Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma again set to support Michail Antonio in the final third of the field, as Pablo Fornals is unavailable for selection after testing positive for coronavirus.


Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell are all injured, meanwhile, so Issa Diop and Craig Dawson will again line up as the two centre-backs for the Hammers.


Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:

Butland; Ward, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell; Gallagher, Kouyate, Schlupp; Ayew, Edouard, Zaha


West Ham United possible starting lineup:

Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Johnson; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Lanzini, Benrahma; Antonio

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