West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace

26 Feb

Yannick Bolasie opened the scoring when Palace won the reverse fixture 2-0.


TEAM NEWS

West Brom centre back Jonny Evans is nursing a hamstring injury and is a doubt to face Crystal Palace.

Fellow defenders Gareth McAuley and Craig Dawson should be available after respective hamstring and ankle issues.

Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie is expected to make his first start for two months following a hip injury.

Bakary Sako is 50/50 to return after a hamstring problem, but Jason Puncheon is still out with a similar injury and Pape Souare is suspended.

James McArthur is likely to miss the rest of the season because of ankle ligament damage.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Jonathan Pearce: “West Brom fans will unfurl a banner proclaiming ‘Brunty, one of us’ and will sing his name in the 11th minute to mark Chris Brunt’s shirt number in a positive move to atone for the disgusting coin throwing at Reading.

“On the pitch, both clubs are in awful league form. West Brom have one win in six matches, Palace are winless in a league-high nine games and have scored just four goals in the process.

“But their FA Cup win at Tottenham has buoyed them. Emmanuel Adebayor has impressed in training. They might have enough to deepen The Hawthorns gloom, unless those home fans can prove really inspirational.”

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

West Brom head coach Tony Pulis: “You have to accept that if you’re not putting in the performances supporters want, and what they expect, then they’re going to let you know.

“They pay good money for it and I think as a manager, as players, as people involved in it, that’s acceptable.

“I think going the other way, throwing coins at people, is unacceptable.”

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew: “I think both us and West Brom will be a little bit edgy because we both want to win this game, so it might be a little bit tense at times.

“They have good players and will make it difficult. It’s always hard to get a result at The Hawthorns.

“Tony knows our players well and will know some of the characteristics of our team, which will perhaps give him a slight advantage.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

West Brom were knocked out of the FA Cup by Reading but I am backing them to bounce back for a couple of reasons.

Baggies boss Tony Pulis is great when he has his back against the wall – he will want to shut up some of his own team’s fans who have been criticising him, and he is up against his old club Palace so he will have a point to prove against them too.

Prediction: 2-1

Lawro’s full predictions v Nobby Butcher, aka Sacha Baron Cohen

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
West Brom goals stat<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Crystal Palace have won three of their last six trips to The Hawthorns in all competitions (L1, D2).
  • There have been four penalties in the last four meetings between the sides.

West Brom

  • West Brom have won just two of their last 11 games in all competitions (D6, L3).
  • Only Aston Villa (20) have scored fewer goals than the 24 managed by Tony Pulis’ side.
  • The Baggies have scored just twice in five league matches.
  • They have had 77 shots on target this season, fewer than any other club.

Crystal Palace

  • Palace are winless in a league-high nine matches (D3, L6).
  • They have earned just three points during this period, four fewer than any other side.
  • Their last win was at Stoke on 19 December.
  • Fourteen of the 27 league goals scored by Palace have been from set pieces. A league-high eight of those goals have been scored by defenders.

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

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