West Ham United arrested their run of 3 consecutive defeats with a well fought 1-1 draw against Liverpool at the London Stadium.
Manuel Pellegrini will have been alarmed at the manner of the defeats especially after the win over Arsenal. The Hammers, after a dreadful start, did find their feet but have failed to convert their wins into any serious momentum to challenge for the top 7 yet.
But the display against the Reds will have boosted their confidence, especially that of the defensive contingent, keeping the likes of Salah, Firmino and Mane to a single goal. Liverpool’s only goal was a blatant offside but was unfortunately missed by the linesman thus signifying the difficulty Klopp’s men had in breaching their backline.
But Saturday will present a new challenge for Pellegrini. He will be making the trip to Selhurst Park with his players to take on a Crystal Palace outfit who have arrested a run of two defeats with a draw and a win against Southampton and Fulham respectively.
But Roy Hodgson won’t find it easy to replicate either of those results with recent history putting the Hammers well in the driving seat. In their last seven meetings, West Ham have won four times while drawing three.
But Palace will be boosted by the return of Zaha and Benteke and with the addition of Michy Batshuayi, this contest promises to be an end to end encounter with both teams going for three points.
EARLY WEST HAM UNITED TEAM NEWS
Samir Nasri is expected to be fit and might play some part on Saturday. Similarly, Marko Arnautovic narrowly missed out against Liverpool and will hope to return against Palace. Meanwhile, Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini, Carlos Sanchez, Andriy Yarmolenko, Jack Wilshere and Fabian Balbuena all remain out.
PREDICTED WEST HAM UNITED LINEUP VS CRYSTAL PALACE (4-2-3-1)
Lukasz Fabianski will start in goal. He was once again excellent against Liverpool and has been amongst the top 3 players of West Ham’s season thus far.
Pablo Zabaleta might return in the right-back role in place of Ryan Fredericks. The central defensive duo of Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna is unlikely to be changed while Aaron Cresswell will start at left-back.
The duo of Mark Noble and Declan Rice have gelled well and are entering their best period of the season now. They are likely to continue in the double pivot. In the no.10 role, another start for Robert Snodgrass seems to be in order.
Michail Antonio got the all-important goal against the Reds and should retain his place on the right flank while Felipe Anderson was excellent once again and will start on the left. Javier Hernandez is likely to lead the line with doubts over Arnautovic’s availability.