West Ham v Crystal Palace – Match Preview
Author: Brian Knox. Published: 30 January 2018 at 6:01pm
Another shock F.A cup loss to lower league opposition, but lets face the facts, it’s not the first time and it certainly will not be the last time this has happened. In fact it has happened numerous times throughout our history. So while I’m not happy that we have lost the game I am more concerned with the fact that we are not playing very well without our most creative players in the side. Injury to Obiang and the 6 match ban to Masuaku has made the Managers job even more difficult. Our focus has to now turn to tonight’s game with Crystal Palace as we continue our struggle to stay in the Premier League.
Crystal Palace have been in great form recently flying up the league when most people would have said they were dead and buried not so long ago. Palace have managed to pull themselves to mid-table thanks no doubt to new manager coming in Roy Hodgson who has done a good job of getting them off the bottom. Their recent form is they have won 2 drawn 2 and lost 2 of their last 6 games which is quite good but they did lose their last game out, a 4-1 away defeat to Arsenal. While playing well at home this year they have not been so good on their travels.
West Ham United so far have had this amazing ability to play well when they are not expected to, and then disappoint in the games where they are expected to do well in. To be honest this has been the way for most of my time as a West Ham supporter. It’s something you kind of get used to, Wigan away being a prime example. But we have had a good record against Palace in recent times winning three and drawing 2 of our last 5 games against them. We are also unbeaten in our last 5 league games so while were awful in the cup I do expect it to be different in the league.
Team news for the Hammers is that nearly half the team are out injured with Reid, Obiang, Ayew, Lanzini, Arnautovic, Carroll and Fernandes and of course finally Sakho has left the building which should make room for someone else in the treatment room by the end of the game. Sakho has gone to Rennes and my only real concern with this is we have not managed to get anyone in to replace him yet. Hopefully by the end of the Transfer window we have.
Some good news in the fact that Declan Rice returns from injury to the starting XI and both Antonio and Fonte could be available from the bench this evening.
Crystal Palace welcome in new signings Erdal Rakip and Jaroslaw Jach to the squad while Cabaye, Ward and their Sakho return from injury but Loftus-Cheek, Dann, Schlupp, Puncheon and Wickham all miss the game.
Predicted Teams :
West Ham United : Adrian, Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Byram, Noble, Mario, Kouyate, Rice, Hernandez.
Crystal Palace : Hennessey, VanAanholt, Tomkins, Kelly, Fosu-Mensah, Milivojevic, Reidewald, McArthur, Sakho, Zaha, Benteke.
I don’t think David Moyes has much choice in who he can play at the moment I expect the bench to be full of young academy players and until we either get some people back from injury or some new players in nothing will change. I don’t think the tactics will change from trying to soak up pressure and hit them on the counter attack. I really hope the new guy Mario is a little bit creative as ‘I don’t know who is going to create for Hernandez up front who I feel will have another frustrating day for the Hammers this game I think has 0-0 written all over it as both teams will respect the point and come away happy. I hope I’m wrong and we win 5-0 but I just cant see where the goals are going to come from at the moment.