A look forward to Crystal Palace

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Jan Vertonghen

It’s tenth versus fifteenth on Saturday afternoon as Crystal Palace come to White Hart Lane for that rarest of rare things, a three pm kick off.

Palace have had a bit of a mixed bag of a season, beating both sets of loveable Scousers but also getting turned over by Sunderland and Villa, the latter of these only happening on Tuesday night. Tellingly the majority of their best results have come on the road thus making them one of a band of clubs, us included, who find space and opportunities easier to come by when countering rather than pressuring, though obviously we prefer it if the opposition are down to 10 men as well.

24 hours after Palace got Benteked we gave a frustrating performance against Chelski with much early good work thrown away by sloppy defending. Given the timing of the first two goals we should be pleased that the scoreline wasn’t a lot worse, we’ve certainly put out sides in the last couple of years which would’ve house of cardsed it, but it’s disappointing that we didn’t get at least one back and it comes to something when you’re pleased /relieved that we only lost by three.

Last week’s switch of tactics and attitude has put a spring back in our stride. With width and pace Palace play a lot like Everton, which should give us some confidence that we can repeat Sunday’s performance and get a good result. A lot depends on Fazio continuing his relatively mistake free form and Vertonghen recovering his mojo after losing it somewhat on Wednesday. Davies will continue at left back but on the other side we may see Naughton brought back in. Watching Chiriches play out of position is like watching a guilty man eat his last, poisoned, meal. He doesn’t look happy.

The four across the middle and Kane pick themselves which leaves one place to go. I suspect this’ll go to Chadli. Soldado may have scored last weekend but overall he was pretty poor. Lamela’s work rate got him into the side at Stamford Bridge; he’s got so much he needs to work on though in terms of possession and decision-making.

Lee Mason is down to referee. He’s issued three red cards in his last four games so Fazio would do well to keep his hands to himself! COYS.

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