2021-22 Premier League: Week 21 – Crystal Palace vs West Ham

Crystal Palace welcome West Ham to Selhurst Park in a blockbuster cross-London derby as 2022 New Year’s Day Premier League action concludes.

Victory will lift Palace up to eighth in the table whereas West Ham could reduce their gap to fourth-placed Arsenal to a single point, if the Gunners fail to beat Manchester City in the lunchtime kick-off.

 

Team News

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Wilfried Zaha is set to be available for selection for Crystal Palace after serving an one match ban in their midweek victory over Norwich.

James McArthur (hamstring), Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze (both Coronavirus) are ruled out. whilst there are doubts concerning Joachim Andersen, Nathaniel Clyne and Conor Gallagher although it is thought that Gallagher was just rested in midweek.

West Ham could welcome Declan Rice back from suspension after the England midfielder missed their midweek win at Watford.

Aaron Cresswell (back), Kurt Zouma (hamstring), Angelo Ogbonna (knee) and Pablo Fornals (illness) remain ruled out.

 

Stat Attack

  • Crystal Palace have lost one of their last six meetings against West Ham (W2, D3, L1).
  • West Ham are unbeaten in six of their last seven visits to Selhurst Park (W4, D2, L1).
  • Palace have conceded first in three of their last four home matches against West Ham.
  • Patrick Viera’s Eagles have scored first in four of their last five home matches, losing in the only match where they failed to score first at Selhurst Park during this run (W3, D1, L1).
  • West Ham have failed to score in three of their last five away matches (W1, D1, L3).

 

Prediction

After enduring a demoralising Boxing Day defeat and a red card for Zaha, Palace looked a different team in Tuesday’s win over Norwich where they looked confident across the pitch throughout, even if they did ride their luck defensively at times.

West Ham meanwhile cannot afford to repeat their sloppy start because they were lucky that Watford capitulated against their increased intensity and movement, which certainly won’t be the case here against this gritty Palace team on top of recent away issues.

I therefore am expecting a cracking contest here between two attack-minded team especially with Zaha likely back in Palace’s line-up, so it is tough to predict how this could unfold so am going for a surprise high-scoring draw.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham

Result: Crystal Palace 2-3 West Ham

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