Strongest Crystal Palace XI To Face West Bromwich Albion
Premier League bottom-feeders Crystal Palace will take on former manager Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion on Saturday in match week 26 of the Premier League, at the Hawthorns.
Sam Allardyce’s men are stuck in at 18th place in the league standings but looked to get their season back on track with a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough last weekend. However, they will find it hard to get past a resilient West Brom side who are seated comfortably in the top-half of the table. The two clubs met on the opening day of the season at Selhurst Park where the Baggies clinched a 1-0 victory. Hence, Palace will be looking to get the maximum points out of the game in their bid to stave off relegation.
Papa Souare and Connor Wickham remain unavailable due to their long-term injuries while Mathieu Flamini and Loic Remy are also major doubts due to muscle problems, along with Bakary Sako. Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda is absent due to his knee surgery and is expected to return to training in two weeks’ time.
This is how we expect Palace to line up against the Baggies in the weekend:
Wayne Hennessey (GK)
The Welshman made a few good stops against Middlesbrough and having kept a clean sheet, he will be in good spirits. He will start between the sticks for Palace.
Joel Ward (RB)
The full-back has been an ever-present for the Eagles this season and has played all the league matches so far and he will add one more appearance to his tally at the Hawthorns.
James Tomkins (CB)
The former West Ham defender has the manager’s trust and after not conceding against Boro last weekend, he should remain in the starting XI.
Mamadou Sakho (CB)
The Liverpool loanee put in a Man-of-the-Match display in his debut game for Palace last week and will definitely take the field alongside Tomkins on Saturday.
Patrick van Aanholt (LB)
The January arrival scored the only goal against Middlesbrough and has emerged as a solid operator for the Eagles. No-brainer here, he will be in the line-up without a question.
Luka Milijovevic (DM)
The 25-year old put in a good shift in the midfield in his first-ever game in Palace colours and Big Sam will not look to tinker much in this area, meaning Milijovevic could start against the Baggies.
Andros Townsend (RM)
The English international is a key attacking outlet for Palace with his adventure on the right-flank and is a definite starter for the tie on Saturday.
Yohan Cabaye (CM)
The Frenchman offers the control in the middle of the park for the Eagles and has the skills to open up defences with his distribution. He will be crucial against a tight West Brom defence.
Jason Puncheon (CM)
Puncheon’s industry and running from midfield will be key for Palace, while his set-piece delivery will also pose a threat for opponents. He will partner Cabaye in the midfield.
Wilfried Zaha (LM)
Without a doubt, the brightest spot of a dull season for Palace and he will be the man who Allardyce will look up to provide the creativity and threat in attack. Zaha will start the game on the left-flank.
Christian Benteke (ST)
The big Belgian is believed to be growing frustrated with life at Palace, but remains their best option in front of goal and will once again lead the line on Saturday.