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The Premier League is back in action this weekend and with the business end not too far away, the teams in competition will start working hard for each and every point. Having taken just 19 points from 25 games this season, Crystal Palace are one of the teams that are favorites to go down and Sam Allardyce will hope that he can revive their season as soon as possible. The Eagles are fresh from a loss to the Potters in the last round and have not taken a single point from their games since the turn of the year. They are in trouble of getting relegated but they have a great chance to get some points on the board this weekend when they welcome Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough to Selhurst Park this weekend. Boro held on to a decent draw against Everton and will surely make life miserable for the home side but Allardyce is expected to go with his strongest XI and here is the predicted lineup he might field for this tie:
Allardyce is still without the services of Scott Dann, Bakary Sako and Steve Mandanda, who are all sidelined with injuries. Connor Wickham, Jonathan Benteke and Pape Souare all remain long-term absentees for Palace.
Expected lineup (4-2-3-1):
Wayne Hennessey (GK):
Though could not keep a clean sheet, Hennessey was decent in the outing against the Potters and should start this game on goal for Palace.
Joel Ward (RB):
Ward has been one of the most consistent players for Palace this season and is a regular starter even under Allardyce and should start at right-back.
James Tomkins (CB):
Another player who has to improve under the new manager, Tomkins is currently the first choice center back for Palace and should keep his place for this tie.
Damien Delaney (CB):
The senior defender in the absence of Dann, Delaney, has been decent in the last couple of games and Allardyce should stick with him this weekend.
Patrick van Aanholt (LB):
Put in a decent performance against Stoke but had nothing to show for it and will hope that this game can bring more joy for his side.
Luka Milivojevic (CM):
After an impressive performance on his debut in the previous round, Allardyce should stick with Milivojevic for this tie against Middlesbrough.
James McArthur (CM):
McArthur is the first choice midfielder for Palace and he’ll have to be at his best if Palace are to take anything home from this home game.
Wilfried Zaha (LW):
An impact player for Palace, Zaha will be expected to trouble the Boro defense all night and will have to play an important role for his side to come out victorious.
Jason Puncheon (CAM):
Though not at his best recently, he is integral to the plans at the Selhurst Park and Allardyce should stick with him for this weekend.
Andros Townsend (RW):
Townsend has been slowly finding some form and has been superb in the last couple of outings for Palace and should start this game on the left flank.
Christian Benteke (ST):
The former Liverpool man will be the biggest goal scoring threat for Palace on the night and Boro should keep him quite to take anything from this trip to London.