Crystal Palace midfielder Jordon Mutch completes Vancouver Whitecaps move

The Vancouver Whitecaps have completed the signing of Jordon Mutch from English Premier League side Crystal Palace on a one-year loan, with the option to buy. Mutch becomes Vancouver’s 10th signing of the winter and leaves Palace after failing to make an appearance this season.

The 26-year-old English midfielder has only appeared on the Eagles’ bench three times over the course of the 2017/18 campaign and will be hoping the move to Major League Soccer can help reignite his career.

The former Cardiff City and QPR man has recorded a total of 17 goals and added 26 assists in 206 club matches in all competitions over the course of his career so far. He is a box-to-box midfielder, who replaces the outgoing Tony Tchani for Vancouver.

“Jordon is a top midfielder who has played at the highest level,” Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson said. “He’s played against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United and now he wants to prove himself again in a new environment.

“He likes to get forward, he’s full of energy, and he’s in the prime of his career. We’re delighted to have him here.”

Mutch will spend the entire 2018 season with the Whitecaps, with the club having the option to purchase him if his time in MLS is a success.

The Vancouver Whitecaps kick off the 2018 season this weekend, taking on Montreal Impact on Sunday evening at BC Place Stadium. It’s unlikely that Mutch will be included in the lineup, given that he lacks match practice and will not have had enough time to prepare for the game.

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Premier League Predictions: Chelsea to extend lead at the top, Bournemouth’s woes to continue

The Premier League returns this weekend after a two-week break for European and FA Cup commitments for a number of top flight clubs. Others have had two full weeks to recover and will hope some warm-weather training will help inspire them to three points this weekend.

Sunday will also see Manchester United and Southampton go head-to-head at Wembley in the EFL Cup Final. Arsenal and Manchester City will not be in action, as a result of Sunday’s final, but read on for all of our Gameweek 26 predictions…

Chelsea 3-1 Swansea

Chelsea face a Swansea side who have dramatically improved since the appointment of Paul Clement. The reverse fixture was filled with controversy as Chelsea felt hard-done by to not come away with all three points. They’ll be looking to make amends here and extend their lead at the top with both Manchester United and Arsenal not playing in the league this weekend.

Crystal Palace 1-1 Middlesbrough

Crystal Palace in are in trouble. They need to get a positive result out of this one otherwise Middlesbrough will open the gap between themselves and the bottom three. A win for Sam Allardyce’s side could potentially take them up to 16th and could help to inspire them to get on a run. Middlesbrough know they have to avoid defeat to risk potentially being dragged into the relegation zone, so a draw looks likely.

Everton 3-1 Sunderland

Everton are on an eight game unbeaten run in the Premier League. They’re still in the mix for a European placed finish so have to fight hard to cause the sides above them problems. Sunderland’s so-called revival looks more like a one-game wonder as they were thumped 4-0 having dished out their own four-goal haul the game week before. This looks like a foregone conclusion but you can’t rule Sunderland out of scoring with Jermain Defoe leading the line.

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Hull 2-2 Burnley

Hull City look capable of staying up this season but they have to make their home form count. Burnley cannot buy a win on their travels and despite their commanding position over their opponents here it looks like that unwanted run will continue. Hull have managed to pick up seven points from the last 15 on offer, so a draw here wouldn’t be the worst result.

West Brom 2-0 Bournemouth

West Brom are unbeaten in four and looking as solid as usual ahead of what looks a very winnable fixture against a Bournemouth team that are seemingly in freefall. The Cherries have lost three in a row and conceded six in their most recent away game at Everton. Eddie Howe’s men are out of form but will hope they are clear enough of the bottom three to be fully dragged into a relegation scrap.

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Watford 2-2 West Ham

Both these sides have had two full weeks to prepare for what is a big game for both sets of players. Watford have only lost two of their last 11 at home and are a tough unit to break down, but West Ham have been playing with more belief of late and goals are to be expected in what should be an entertaining game.

Spurs 2-1 Stoke

This is a massive game for Tottenham after their disappointing midweek Europa League exit to Gent at Wembley. Mauricio Pochettino knows his players need to bounce back straightaway, but the fact that his first-team played on Thursday night could play a major role in the outcome of the game. Stoke have been inconsistent all season but will fancy their chances after an extended break. They don’t do well in London though, having only won one of their last 20 trips to the capital…

EFL Cup Final – Manchester United 2-0 Southampton

Jose Mourinho loves playing cup finals at Wembley. He’s only lost one of 11 finals during his managerial career and has his United team firing on all cylinders ahead of Sunday’s clash. It’s a huge game for the Saints, who have never won the League Cup in their history, but they are up against it and it’s tough to see any other outcome than a United win.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Crystal Palace vs West Ham

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

Match Preview 

Crystal Palace welcome London rivals West Ham to Selhurst Park this week for Saturday’s evening kickoff in the Premier League and we’re hoping it doesn’t disappoint.

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.

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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.

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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.

Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Crystal Palace

Competition: Premier League – Everton FC vs. Crystal Palace FC

Venue: Goodison Park – Friday, September 30 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Everton 4/6 – Draw 29/10 – Crystal Palace 19/5

Match Preview

Everton take on Crystal Palace under the lights at Goodison Park in this week’s Friday night Premier League clash in a battle between two sides that have started the season well.

Both teams come into the game inside the top seven and so an exciting contest is expected here.

Everton will be desperate to bounce back from a shock defeat at Bournemouth last weekend. That was their first loss under Ronald Koeman and they need to show that was just a blip, rather than anything more serious at this early stage.

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The Toffees had won four in a row before that 1-0 loss and strolled past Middlesbrough in their last home game. They are expected to win Friday’s game but Palace look like they mean business.

Alan Pardew’s men showed incredible character to come from two goals down at Sunderland to win 3-2 last weekend. They have now won three on the spin and are looking for a third away win of the campaign.

Few would have expected the Eagles to be in the top half of the table after they took just one point from their first three fixtures but something has clicked and the arrival of Christian Benteke has giving them a focal point to build from in attack.

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This will be the 15th Premier League meeting between the two sides. The worry for Everton is that they have failed to beat Palace at home in their last three league games (D1 L2) so the pressure is on the hosts to put on a show for the home fans.

Team News

Everton have four players ruled out of this one, with Muhamed Besic, Tyias Browning, Matthew Pennington and James McCarthy all unavailable. Leighton Baines is a doubt and could miss a second-straight game, while Darron Gibson isn’t expected to feature.

Crystal Palace will be without key defender Scott Dann, while Pape Souare is a long-term absentee. Loic Remy remains out, while Wilfried Zaha is a doubt after missing last week’s win with a hamstring problem.

Key Points

Everton’s last five: W/W/W/W/L

Crystal Palace’s last five: L/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: Leaky – Crystal Palace have not kept a clean sheet in 11 consecutive Premier League games.

Key Player: Idrissa Gueye – The Everton midfielder has been excellent since signing from Villa in the summer and has made the most tackles in the Premier League so far this term. He will need to break up play here to give Everton the best chance of success.

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Score Prediction

Everton 2-1 Crystal Palace – Palace have been on an excellent run but Everton will be fired up for Friday’s game. The home support should help the Toffees edge this one, while the absence of Scott Dann is a worry for the Eagles backline up against Romelu Lukaku. Everton to win it by the odd goal.

FA Cup Final Preview and Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United

Competition: FA Cup Final –  Crystal Palace FC vs. Manchester United FC

Venue: Wembley Stadium – Saturday, May 21 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Crystal Palace 17/4 – Draw 12/5 – Man Utd 3/4

Match Preview

Crystal Palace take on Manchester United in the 2016 FA Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday in what is a huge game for both clubs after fairly disappointing league campaigns.

Palace finished the Premier League season in 15th place and lost three of their last four games, including a 4-1 loss to Southampton on the final day last weekend.

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However, Alan Pardew’s side have been excellent in the FA Cup. They beat Watford in the semifinal and also saw off the likes of Southampton, Stoke, Tottenham and Reading to reach the final.

A win on Saturday would see Palace win the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Their only previous final appearance came in 1990 and was incidentally also against Manchester United.

United won that final 1-0 in a replay after the side’s drew 3-3 in the original clash. Another tight affair is expected this weekend, though the Red Devils remain favourites.

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Louis Van Gaal may well be preparing for his final game as Manchester United manager, with speculation about his future not going anywhere.

The team will be solely focused on this game for now, though. They beat Bournemouth 3-1 in their final Premier League game on Tuesday night, which was rescheduled following last Sunday’s abandonment.

The lack of preparation time might affect the squad but they will still be expected to win in 90 minutes on Saturday evening.

They beat Sheffield United, Derby, Shrewsbury, West Ham and Everton to reach this stage and will now want to lift the FA Cup for the first time since 2004.

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Team News

Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal has eight injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s game. Marcos Rojo, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Will Keane all look certain to miss out, while Adnan Januzaj, Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian and Morgan Schneiderlin are listed as doubts. Wayne Rooney will likely occupy a midfield position once again, with Marcus Rashford set to start in attack.

Crystal Palace have seven injury worries of their own. Kwesi Appiah, Marouane Chamakh, Brede Hangeland and Joe Ledley are all sidelined, while Connor Wickham, Yohan Cabaye and Wilfried Zaha are all 50/50 ahead of the final.

Key Points

Crystal Palace’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/W/L

Manchester United’s last five in all competitions: W/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: United are unbeaten in six games against Palace, conceding just once in that time.

Key Player: Anthony Martial – The United striker has scored four goals and bagged two assists in his last four outings and is in the form of his season. He fired United into the final with his late goal against Everton and will look to shine at Wembley once again here.

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Score Prediction

Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester United – A low-scoring affair is expected between two sides that don’t tend to score too many. Palace have been in poor form and despite their strong run in the FA Cup, they are underdogs here and look likely to come up short. United have improved towards the end of the season but will need a trophy to feel satisfied, having missed out on the top four. United to win.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Crystal Palace vs. Leicester City

Venue: Selhurst Park – Saturday, March 19 – 15:00 GMT (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Crystal Palace 19/10 – Draw 9/4 – Leicester 7/5

Match Preview

Crystal Palace welcome high flying Leicester City to Selhurst Park on Saturday in a game which could have huge implications at both ends of the table.

Palace are sitting dangerously close to the drop zone and are in a rut of form in the Premier League. They must start to pick up points to distance themselves from the relegation battle, and fast.

They come into the game off the back of reaching the FA Cup semifinals last weekend but previously lost at home to Liverpool in the league.

This is going to be a very tough test for Palace, who will have title-chasing London rivals Tottenham willing them on this weekend.

The Eagles are the only side in the top four tiers of English football yet to win a league game in 2016. That’s something Alan Parker will want to change very quickly.

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Leicester City remain top of the Premier League. They come into this tie off the back of their 1-0 win over Newcastle last time out.

These are the sort of games which can prove to be the biggest test while chasing down the league title, as Palace have just as much to play for as the visitors.

Claudio Ranieri will be trying to keep his players as calm and composed as possible heading into this tie but the pressure is mounting on them massively now and, as the cliche goes, every game is a cup final from here on in.

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Team News

Crystal Palace have five injury concerns. Kwesi Appiah, Marouane Chamakh, James McArthur and Connor Wickham are all expected to still be out, while Mile Jedinak is a doubt.

Leicester City have just the two injury concerns heading into the tie. Matthew James is out, while Andy King is a doubt.

Key Points

Crystal Palace’s last five: D/L/L/D/L

Leicester City’s last five: L/W/D/W/W

Key Stat: Crystal Palace are yet to win in the Premier League in 2016.

Key Player: Riyad Marhez – Leicester’s key man has netted an impressive 15 goals in his 29 appearances this season and he will be key to unlocking the Palace defence here.

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Score Prediction

Crystal Palace 0-2 Leicester City – Leicester to prove too strong for a struggling Palace side in this tie and continue their march towards the title in this incredibly unpredictable Premier League season.

Podcast: Houston Dynamo, Philadelphia Union & Crystal Palace discussed

In this week’s MLSGB Podcast, Zack Walford sits down with Louis East and Lewis Addley to reflect on Week 2’s MLS action, in which Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union picked up impressive wins.

The team will then look at Premier League side Crystal Palace and their recent struggles, with relegation starting to look like a real possibility.

Be sure to comment below or get in touch on Twitter with your thoughts.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool

Venue: Selhurst Park – Sunday, March 6 – 13:30 GMT (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: Crystal Palace 13/5 – Draw 23/10 – Liverpool 23/20

Match Preview

Crystal Palace will hope to end a dreadful run of form when they welcome Liverpool to Selhurst Park in the earlier of the Sunday Premier League games this weekend.

Form suggests that Palace are currently the worst team in the league after they saw their winless streak stretch to 11 with a draw away to Sunderland in the week.

Despite being nine points clear of the relegation zone, Alan Pardew and his team will be wary that unless things change soon, they may be fighting for survival in the final weeks of the campaign.

Crystal Palace’s Premier League record: P28 – W9 – D6 – L13

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Liverpool have arguably been the most impressive team over the last couple of weeks and are now only six points off the top four.

A 3-0 win over Manchester City on Wednesday saw the Merseyside club close the gap on their top four rivals. The win of course followed up the agonising loss on penalties to City in the League Cup final last Sunday, and that resilience will have delighted Jurgen Klopp.

After scoring nine goals in their last two Premier League games and conceding none, Liverpool are in the best form of their season and look on course for a serious push for Europe.

Liverpool’s record in the Premier League: P27 – W11 – D8 – L8 

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Team News

Crystal Palace remain hopeful Wayne Hennessey and Connor Wickham can both shake off knocks to start. Jason Puncheon and James McArthur are both out.

Liverpool will of course still be without Joe Gomez and Danny Ings, who both have season-ending injuries. Mamadou Sakho (head) is a doubt but Lucas Leiva (thigh strain) is ruled out so Klopp’s problems at the back continue.

Key Points

Crystal Palace’s last five: L/D/L/L/D

Liverpool’s last five: W/L/D/W/W

Key Stat: Crystal Palace are yet to win in the Premier League in 2016.

Key Player: Roberto Firmino – The Brazilian is flourishing under Jurgen Klopp and is given the freedom to create all over the final third. With his freedom of movement, it will be hard for the Palace defence to track him and so you can expect him to manipulate space and cause them problems on Sunday.

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Score Prediction

Crystal Palace 0-2 Liverpool – Form doesn’t often lie and this Palace side are struggling to look convincing enough to win in the league. Liverpool rolled over a very good Manchester City side in midweek, so we’re expecting an easy away win.

Could Palace break disappointing club record this season after West Brom loss?

Crystal Palace‘s 3-2 defeat away at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday evening marked their 13th loss of the Premier League season so far.

Alan Pardew‘s side have been nose-diving and failure to win a league game since a 2-1 success away at Stoke on December 19 has seen them slip from sixth in the table to 14th.

The Eagles are now just eight points above the drop zone with 11 games remaining, and hopes of competing for European qualification have long gone, with the prospect of a relegation battle fast becoming a possibility.

Not only did the West Brom defeat have implications on their position in the table, but it also meant that Palace have now gone ten consecutive league games without a win.

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It’s their worst run in the top flight for 11 years as they also went on a ten-game winless streak in the 2004/05 season, when they were eventually relegated.

Palace’s previous longest period without winning a Premier League game came in the 1997/98 campaign when they recorded a run of 15 games without victory – they finished bottom that year.

Failure to win any of their next five games this season would see them match that club record of most games without a win in the Premier League – six games without victory would see it eclipsed.

Crystal Palace’s next six Premier League fixtures:

  • Sunderland (away) – Tuesday, March 1
  • Liverpool (home) – Sunday, March 6
  • Leicester (home) – Saturday, March 19
  • West Ham (away) – Saturday, April 2
  • Norwich (home) – Saturday, April 9
  • Arsenal (away) – Sunday, April 17
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Alan Pardew is suffering a manager’s worst nightmare right now and when things aren’t going right, nothing seems to go your way, which usually results in confidence hitting rock bottom.

All of a sudden, Tuesday night’s trip to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland holds massive importance for this Crystal Palace side as four of their next five fixtures after that look ominous.

If the Eagles can’t stop the rot sooner rather than later, then they could well find themselves in a whole lot of trouble come May.

Will Crystal Palace break the club record for their longest winless run in the Premier League? Are they slipping into a relegation battle?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Brom vs Crystal Palace

Competition: Premier League – West Bromwich Albion vs. Crystal Palace

Venue: The Hawthorns – Saturday, February 27 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 EST)

Match Odds: West Bromwich Albion 6/4 – Draw 11/5 – Crystal Palace 19/10

Match Preview

West Brom welcome Crystal Palace to The Hawthorns in this week’s Saturday night Premier League clash, with Baggies manager Tony Pulis looking for a win over his former club.

West Brom have struggled to put in strong performances this season but will be pleased by the fact that they are eight points clear of the relegation zone after 26 games. They have only won one of their last six, though, and need to try and find some consistency.

They haven’t won at home since early January and Baggies fans will still be worried about the threat of relegation as after Saturday’s game they play Leicester, Manchester United and Arsenal.

West Bromwich Albion’s Premier League record: P26 – W8 – D8 – L10

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Their 3-1 FA Cup loss at Reading was hugely disappointing and they will hope to bounce back with a Premier League win here.

Crystal Palace have not won a Premier League game in nine outings and have been sucked into a potential relegation dogfight. They are level on points with West Brom and so Saturday’s game is a big one for both sides.

After an unbelievable start to the season, and potential talk of European qualification, the Eagles have fallen from grace at a rate of knots.

Their FA Cup run, which was extended at the weekend following a 1-0 at White Hart Lane against Spurs, should suppress groans from supporters but things need to change for Palace, and soon.

Crystal Palace’s Premier League record: P26 – W9 – D5 – L12

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The reverse fixture at Selhurst Park ended 2-0 to the Eagles and West Brom will be out for revenge here in what should be a close-fought game.

Team News

West Bromwich Albion will be hopeful Craig Dawson and Gareth McAuley will shake off injuries in time to feature but both are doubts. James Morrison, Jonny Evans and Callum McManaman are all out.

Crystal Palace are only missing two first team regulars as James McArthur and Jason Puncheon remain out. Yannick Bolasie is back and should start here after coming off the bench in Palace’s FA Cup win at Tottenham on Sunday.

Key Points

West Brom’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/D/L/W

Crystal Palace’s last five in the Premier League: L/L/L/D/L

Key Stat: Crystal Palace are without a win in nine matches in the Premier League.

Key Player: Salomon Rondon – The Venezuelan striker has become the leading man in the West Brom attack and the Baggies will want to take advantage of Crystal Palace’s bad run of league form here. Rondon will be a nuisance for the Palace defence from the start and will expect to find the scoresheet.

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Score Prediction

West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Crystal Palace – It will be extremely difficult for the Baggies to keep out a strong Palace attack on Saturday. The return of Yannick Bolasie is crucial for the Eagles, proven by his return coinciding with the FA Cup win at Spurs last weekend. However, Tony Pulis will want to avoid defeat when his former club visit on Saturday evening and this looks set to be a close contest.