Hooray – it’s not Leicester!
After a tough couple of weeks battling with Leicester City, a visit to an out of form Crystal Palace isn’t the worst next card we could’ve been dealt.
Is Puncheon on penalties?
‘Out of form’ doesn’t really do it justice. The Eagles have been on a shocking run since beating Stoke in December and are enduring the mother of all goal droughts. They have picked up just 2 points from 5 games and have scored zero (Z.E.R.O) goals. They even lost to Villa. Ouch.
Injuries to Cabaye and Bolasie amongst others haven’t helped but even though relying on Wickham, Campbell, Sako and Chamakh for end product is always going to contain fallow periods, not scoring for over a month is a touch extreme. According to soccerbase.com they’ve managed just 11 shots on target in those 5 games. Yikes.
Dive like an eagle
One look at the sh*t-eating grin on Pardew’s face after the result at the Britannia showed you what he thought of Palace’s position at that time, they were just behind us and apparently threatening, but since then it’s been, figuratively speaking, as though a shot rang out during the prematch entertainment one home game and the soaring bird used to ‘entertain’ the crowd was quickly transformed into part of a help yourself exotic barbecue. Sort of.
So, when the club with the fewest goals conceded visits a team that can’t score then surely we know one thing – if we notch we’re safe. Oh yes, it’s that straightforward. Not really of course, it’ll rain on Palace’s Gobi desert one day and knowing our luck it’ll be tomorrow.
Here comes the Son?
We can expect changes from Wednesday of course though it may not be as straightforward as just swapping back in everyone who missed out as there were performances that will give Pochettino pause for thought when making his selection. Son’s was the standout display but Carroll was also effective and what does he do about the full-backs? Rose may come back in but will Trippier replace Walker? Unlikely.
As usual taking our chances will be key, if we get an early goal and force them to come out then Alli, Kane and Eriksen may be able to take control. If Dann and Delaney hold on though then they’ll get their hopes up and Zaha and Cabaye will look to influence the game. We need to watch them at set pieces; they have big lads and an accurate deliverer (?).
Martin Atkinson is the referee.
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