West Ham vs Crystal Palace: Zaha vs Kehrer & Other Key Battles To Watch Out For

West Ham United are set to host Crystal Palace at the London Stadium in the Premier League in what could be an engaging London derby.

The Hammers are 13th in the table and lost their last league game against Manchester United at Old Trafford. However, they come into this game on the back of a 3-0 win over FCSB in their final UEFA Europa Conference League group-stage fixture.

Crystal Palace, on the other hand, beat Southampton 1-0 in the Premier League last time out. They are just two points above their London rivals in tenth spot and will aim to pick up three massive points on the road on Sunday.

Without further ado, let us take a look at the key battles of the game.

#Odsonne Edouard vs Kurt Zouma

Crystal Palace boss Vieira said during his pre-match presser that both Odsonne Edouard and Cheick Doucoure trained on Friday afternoon following fitness problems, but the duo would still need to be assessed ahead of the game.

Odsonne has registered three goals and two assists in 12 games this term, whilst offering physicality, pace and directness to the Crystal Palace attack. The Frenchman is part of a flexible front three for the Eagles, and even if he is 75% fit, Vieira will start him up front on Sunday.

The man likely to keep Edouard under check will be Kurt Zouma. Due to his strong frame and good pace to burn, Zouma possesses the qualities to match Edouard and neutralise the Palace striker. As a result, it will be a good matchup between the two Frenchmen.

#Wilfried Zaha vs Thilo Kehrer

Wilfried Zaha has been Palace’s standout performer, once again! The 29-year-old forward has registered five goals and an assist in 11 league appearances so far this season and will be called upon to help the Eagles win the London derby.

Zaha has been a menace for most teams this season, and his blistering pace combined with his unpredictable movement and dribbling skills has made him one of the trickiest forwards to face in England.

It will be Thilo Kehrer who will be tasked with the job of keeping the Palace talisman quiet. Kehrer will look to pin Zaha back with his adventurous runs down the right but needs to be wary of not getting caught out of position in transitions.

It will indeed be interesting to see how Kehrer manages to cope up with the presence of a player like Zaha.

#Jarrod Bowen vs Tyrick Mitchell

Jarrod Bowen has endured a slow start to the season, and his lack of productivity in the final third has hurt West Ham dearly. He is one of the first names on the team sheet and is expected to occupy the right flank in David Moyes’ 4-2-3-1 system.

Crystal Palace left-back Tyrick Mitchell will come up against Bowen on Sunday. Mitchell is a solid 1v1 defender and a decent reader of the game. In fact, he is one of the quickest players available to the Eagles.

So, young Mitchell has the tools to stop Bowen which makes for quite a contest between the two Englishmen.

#Declan Rice vs Eberechi Eze

The captain and the beating heart of this West Ham side, Declan Rice must produce a top display if the hosts are to win the London derby against Palace.

Rice is quick, smart and has a shrewd understanding of the game, so he will be held responsible to prevent Palace’s Eberechi Eze from feeding the forwards. Beyond Zaha, Eze has impressed the most in recent games and will look to influence the game with his incisive passing and quick one-twos in the final third.

If Rice can nullify Eze’s threat from midfield for large parts of the game, the chances of Palace scoring will be significantly reduced. Meanwhile, If Eze can slip past his marker and create openings for Zaha or Edouard, West Ham are certain to face problems in this crucial fixture.

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