The international break is finally over and now we can get back to enjoying the Premier League. The fixture list looks very appealing for this weekend, particularly a ‘top of the table’ clash between Palace and West Ham. The game is sure to be a fast and free-flowing affair with both sides wanting to use their pacey outlets to hurt the opposition.
In terms of team news, we have both good and bad news. Andy Carroll should be available for the trip to Selhurst Park, with Angelo Ogbonna and Enner Valencia hopeful of a place on the bench.
However, Winston Reid and Aaron Cresswell will be assessed before kick-off to see if they will be able to play as will James Collins who has recently returned from a fantastic international period which saw Wales qualify for their first major tournament since 1958.
West Ham appear hopeful that in three weeks time, providing there are no new injury concerns between now and then, we should have a fully fit squad to choose from.
The difficulty that we face is stopping the high-flying Eagles. The addition of former West Ham target Bakary Sako has completed their attacking armoury and defensively they have strength and pace in abundance. Record signing Yohan Cabaye, another player who was strongly linked with a summer transfer to Upton Park, has taken Crystal Palace to a new level.
We have to be cautious of Palace who will want to dictate the play in front of their fans.
However, perhaps Palace’s eagerness to put on a good performance at home will play straight into our hands.
We have been at our best when counter attacking sides with our pace and accurate passing. I hope that we do give a performance after what I would consider two disappointing draws against Norwich and Sunderland and I hope we can improve on our successful start to the season.
My first XI vs. Crystal Palace:
Randolph, Jenkinson, Obiang, Antonio, Zarate, Carroll, Valencia/Jelavic
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