Competition: Premier League – Crystal Palace vs. West Ham
Venue: Selhurst Park – Saturday, October 15 – 17:30 BST (12:30 EDT)
Match Odds: Crystal Palace 1/1 – Draw 12/5 – West Ham 11/4
With Palace unbeaten in their last five (W3 D2), they come into the game as strong favorites knowing that a win would move them above Manchester United, at least until Monday night.
With losses such as Yannick Bolasie and Mile Jedinak this summer, there were questions asked about how Palace can move forward. However, the signings of Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend have affirmed Palace’s ability to attract great players and they look to have recovered well from a poor start to the campaign.
West Ham on the other hand have strengthened and are yet to reap the rewards with marquee signing Andre Ayew ruled out of action since the opening day and Dimitri Payet struggling for consistent form. The team are really struggling to pick up and a lack of depth up front has left them without a settled striker.
After a very good season last year, fans were expecting better of the Hammers in their first campaign in their new home but if results do not turn around quickly, a managerial change would be seriously considered by the board.
The Hammers won the corresponding fixture 3-1 last October, before the two sides drew 2-2 at the Boleyn Ground later in the season. Palace have only won one of their last four home games against West Ham.
Crystal Palace are without new signing Jonathan Benteke, who has a knee injury, while Scott Dann, Papa Souare and Loic Remy are also sidelined through injuries.
West Ham have as many as nine first-team players struggling with knocks. Gokhan Tore, Sam Byram Arthur Masuaku, Andy Carroll, Andre Ayew and Diafra Sakho are all out. Jonathan Calleri, Havard Nordtveit and Aaron Cresswell are all slight doubts but could all be line to make the squad if passed fit.
Crystal Palace’s last five: D/W/W/W/D
West Ham’s last five: L/L/L/L/D
Key Stat: West Ham have lost their last four away matches in the Premier League.
Key Player: Dimitri Payet – The French winger is in fine form after a goal during the international break followed a glorious goal at home to Bournemouth in his last league outing. This is a huge game for the Hammers and they will need a strong showing from their main man if they are to take anything from the match.
Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham – This should be a closely contested affair as these London rivals will both see this as a chance for three points. West Ham need the result more, but Palace are in decent form. We’re going with a score draw.