Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion

12 Aug

Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend

Andros Townsend joined Crystal Palace for a reported £13m fee last month


Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew says Yannick Bolasie is in contention to play despite speculation linking him with Everton.

James Tomkins, Bakary Sako and Fraizer Campbell are injured, while Pape Souare and James McArthur will be monitored.

West Brom striker Saido Berahino is available despite reported interest from Stoke and Palace.

James Morrison and Chris Brunt are out injured but summer signing Matt Philips could make his Baggies debut.


Mark Scott: “These two had the same problem last season – goals – with only rock bottom Aston Villa scoring fewer.

“The arrival of Andros Townsend should certainly help Palace in that regard – and Alan Pardew insists fellow flyer Yannick Bolasie will also be in the shake-up on Saturday, despite persistent speculation linking him with Everton.

“There’s also been plenty of speculation over the future of Tony Pulis following the recent takeover at West Brom, with a number of bookies making him their favourite to be the first Premier League manager to go this season.

“Pulis insists there’s no chance of him walking away despite a difficult summer in the transfer market, but he has warned that their lack of activity means the Baggies are ‘well behind the game’ going into the new campaign.”

Twitter: @Mark_Scott_


Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew: “It was a positive [summer] for our club because we had Steve [Mandanda] and Yohan [Cabaye] in the [Euro 2016] final.

“We had Jonny [Williams], Wayne [Hennessey] and Joe [Ledley] in the semi-finals. It was brilliant for us.

“They’re going to take that confidence into the season. Why wouldn’t you? It’s going to be a big benefit for us.”

West Brom head coach Tony Pulis on the chances of him resigning: “No, it is not a case of walking out or anything else. My aim is to try to get, over the next two weeks, five players in that will make a difference to this team.

“What if he [West Brom’s new owner Guochuan Lai] sacks me? You don’t know. That’s a question that remains to be seen and to be answered. As far as I’m concerned I’ve got a job to do, I’ve got a year left and I’m really determined to try to get these players in which is ever so important for the club.

“We’re well behind the game in that respect. We do need to start to get on the front foot. The club has been stagnant for a while; with new owners you hope and pray they’ll give you the backing to push this club on.”


The Baggies will still be extremely difficult to beat but I think Selhurst Park will be pretty lively on the opening day of the season, and I’m going for a Palace win.

Prediction: 2-1

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  • Crystal Palace have won three of their last 13 home league games against West Bromwich Albion (D6, L4).
  • None of the last 22 games between these sides have ended in goalless draws. The last 0-0 came in a second tier match at The Hawthorns in 1999.

Crystal Palace

  • The Eagles have only won one of their last eight season-opening games on home turf (D4, L3) – a 3-2 win against Leicester in 2010.
  • Palace have claimed 11 Premier League points in 2016 – fewer than any other side still in the top flight.
  • They have lost 12 of their 19 Premier League matches in 2016 (W2, D5).
  • Palace had a shot conversion rate of 11.11% in last season’s Premier League – only relegated Aston Villa (9.75%) fared worse.
  • Crystal Palace lost the 2016 FA Cup final to Manchester United – the previous two beaten cup finalists have been relegated from the Premier League in the following season (Hull City and Aston Villa).

West Bromwich Albion

  • West Brom have scored 53 goals in 56 Premier League games under Tony Pulis.
  • They failed to win their final nine league games last season (D4, L5) after beating Manchester United on 6 March.
  • The Baggies have won their opening Premier League match just once in 10 attempts.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.


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