[18th-Apr-15] Match Preview: Crystal Palace – West Bromwich Albion
James McArthur & Pape Souare, who were questionable for the match following minor injuries they picked up in last weekend’s game against Sunderland, are expected to start for the Eagles. Palace is still without Lee Chung-yong, Marouane Chamakh, Frazier Campbell, and Jordon Mutch due to injury however. West Brom’s Brown Ideye will have a fitness test to determine if he can play, while Ben Foster remains out for the season for the Baggies. Callum McManaman is fit for the side but Youssouf Mulumbu will miss the fixture due to a suspension.
The reception Tony Pulis will get as West Brom boss will be interesting. Palace’s highest Premier League finish was 11th last season under the now West Brom boss, but differences with owner Steve Parish saw the former Palace manager walk away from the job just days before the start of the current season. His replacement, Neil Warrock, had the club in the relegation zone before his sacking over the course of the winter, paving the way for Alan Pardew’s reign to begin. The former Palace player has lifted the Eagles to 11th himself, with Palace looking on course to either equal or best that mark.
West Brom have recorded only one win over Palace in all competitions in their last 9 attempts, a Premier League match from 2013. West Brom also head into the game off of three straight Premier League losses, the first time a Pulis team has done so in over two years. West Brom also have recorded a win away from The Hawthornes since the 1st of November, they have played 10 road matches since then. Against teams currently in the bottom half of the table West Brom have only snagged 18 points with only Burnley and Leicester worse.
Palace are looking to tie a top flight club record of five consecutive wins if they are victorious Saturday morning. The Eagles’ 15 points out of the 18 available is 2nd highest in the Premier League for those 6 games played, with only Arsenal better. Glenn Murray is still considered in form at the moment, with 6 goals and 3 assists in his last 6 games for the club. Palace have now scored 25 points from an available 36 under manager Alan Pardew, and the club have also scored 2 more goals in those 12 matches than they did in their previous 20. The Eagles have however failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 12 games at Selhurst Park.
Prediction: Palace fans will probably rejoice as I can see them taking all the points in this one, but West Brom should give them a run for their money as they will want to play hard for manager Tony Pulis.