The Hammers sit top of the table after starting the new Premier League campaign in a blistering fashion, winning two out of two and scoring eight goals in the process. They smashed 10-man Leicester City 4-1 on Monday—their first game at the London Stadium—with Michail Antonio starring on the night.
Buoyed by the victory over the Foxes, David Moyes’ West Ham will be aiming to win the bragging rights against Crystal Palace, who are winless after two league games—Chelsea and Brentford.
The Eagles, under new manager Patrick Vieira, were also dumped out of EFL Cup round two by Watford on Tuesday. After a slow start to the league campaign and an early exit from the League Cup, Vieira will expect a strong response from his boys against their London rivals at the London Stadium.
West Ham vs Crystal Palace—Team News
Arthur Masuaku and Winston Reid are the only two absentees for David Moyes to date.
Lukasz Fabianski will be desperate to keep a clean sheet on Saturday after conceding three goals in the first two games.
Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna did well to keep Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy quiet on Monday. The duo; however, will face a different challenge in Christian Benteke at the weekend. Vladimir Coufal and Aaron Cresswell will retain their places in the full-back positions.
Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek will form West Ham’s double-pivot and keep things ticking in midfield. Pablo Fornals was excellent against Leicester and will get the free role again. Said Benrahma is slowly starting to show his true qualities in the Premier League and will keep his place on the left with Jarrod Bowen on the other flank.
Michail Antonio broke West Ham’s Premier League goalscoring record by bagging his 49th goal on Monday. He’s a certainty to lead the Hammers’ attack against Crystal Palace.
Eberechi Eze remains sidelined following the Achilles injury suffered in training back in May, but is well advanced in terms of rehab and recovery. Summer signing Michael Olise hasn’t played any of the Eagles’ games with a back injury but has returned to light training, while Nathan Ferguson is still out.
Vicente Guaita kept a clean sheet against Brentford in Palace’s last league game and will be keen to shut the shop as quickly as possible.
Summer signings Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi are still trying to create an understanding at the back. They’ll be up against an in-form Michail Antonio on Saturday. The reliable Joel Ward will start at right-back with young Tyrick Mitchell on the other side of the rearguard.
Cheikhou Kouyate will screen the backline from his position and allow the likes of Conor Gallagher and James McArthur to go forward and create openings in the final third.
Up front, Vieira looks likely to go with Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke and Jeffrey Schlupp. With their pace, trickery and movement, Zaha and Schlupp can cause problems and stretch West Ham’s backline. Benteke can be a real handful in the box and will be raring to open his account for the season.
West Ham vs Crystal Palace—Predicted Lineups
West Ham Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Benrahma, Fornals, Bowen; Antonio.
Crystal Palace Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Kouyate, Gallagher, McArthur; Zaha, Schlupp, Benteke.
West Ham vs Crystal Palace— Key Players
West Ham—Michail Antonio
With three goals, Michail Antonio is currently the top scorer in the Premier League alongside Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes. The 31-year-old is in red-hot form, and after a fiery performance against 10-man Leicester City, he’ll be raring to give the Crystal Palace defenders a run for their money.
Crystal Palace—Wilfried Zaha
Patrick Vieira and Crystal Palace need some sort of inspiration to kickstart their campaign and who better to provide that than Wilfried Zaha? The Ivory Coast international is one of the trickiest forwards to come up against and can be absolutely unplayable on his day. Undoubtedly, he would be the visitors’ most dangerous player at the London Stadium on Saturday.
Prediction: West Ham 2-1 Crystal Palace