West Ham United v Crystal Palace

1 Apr

Manuel Lanzini celebrates scoring for West Ham


Manuel Lanzini scored West Ham’s second goal in their 3-1 win at Crystal Palace in October

TEAM NEWS

James Tomkins returns for West Ham after recovering from a calf problem, but the game comes too soon for Sam Byram and James Collins.

The Hammers will monitor Victor Moses, Enner Valencia and Cheikhou Kouyate, who returned to training on Friday after long trips on international duty.

Crystal Palace will assess injury doubts Mile Jedinak, Yohan Cabaye and Emmanuel Adebayor.

Connor Wickham, James McArthur and Marouane Chamakh remain sidelined.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Martin Fisher: “The prospect of a rare FA Cup final appearance excites West Ham and Crystal Palace but such thoughts need to be put on hold with important Premier League matters still pressing.

“A top-four finish is still tantalisingly within reach for the Hammers, which would ensure the Olympic Stadium opens its doors to Champions League football next season.

“Meanwhile, Palace still need to secure their top-flight status. Winless since Christmas, the Eagles now find themselves just above the relegation zone.

“Two victories from their remaining eight games should be enough and encouragingly they have won on their last two visits here.”

Twitter: @martfisher1

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: “Being in Europe would attract bigger players [in the summer], but we are a big enough club.

“Add to that the history and that we are moving to a new stadium, we are playing good football, in the Premier League and a London club – that is enough to attract good players.”

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew: “The teams below us are now going to hunt points and hunt it down, and unfortunately we are in a position to catch so we have to really up our game.

“Our desire and commitment can’t be faulted but we need to turn that into one or two victories.

“We’re in a run of form in the league where we have no momentum and we are going to have to grind it out.

“We’re not sleepwalking, we’re not day-dreaming, we are fully committed to getting the points as soon as we can.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Crystal Palace’s long wait for a league win this year continues and, while it does, they are getting dragged closer to the relegation scrap that is happening below them.

They will win somewhere – even Aston Villa have won away from home once this season – but I don’t see it happening this weekend, because West Ham have been so good at Upton Park.

Prediction: 2-1

Lawro’s full predictions v indie band James.

  • 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.
Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • The previous four meetings between these sides have produced away wins – with the last three ending in 3-1 scorelines.
  • The Hammers’ last home win against Palace was in a second tier match in October 2003, when Neil Mellor netted twice in a 3-0 victory.

West Ham United

  • The Hammers are unbeaten in 12 successive Premier League home games (W7, D5) – their best run since a 14-match streak in the 1997-98 season.
  • Dimitri Payet has created 221 goalscoring chances since the start of last season, more than any other player in the top five European leagues in that time.
  • The Hammers have conceded 60% of their league goals in the first half of matches – the highest proportion in the top flight.
  • They have netted an unrivalled 14 goals in the last 15 minutes of Premier League matches this term.

Crystal Palace

  • Palace are the only side in the top seven tiers of English football without a league win in 2016.
  • The Eagles have won just one of their six Premier League London derbies this season, losing five of those matches.
  • Yohan Cabaye has scored three goals in his last two Premier League appearances against West Ham.

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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