After gaining a crucial three points on Boxing Day, Swansea City will be targeting back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they travel to South London to face a Crystal Palace side currently sitting pretty in fifth place.
The Eagles have already suffered a couple of unwelcome injury setbacks over the festive period and the absence of Yannick Bolasie in particular perhaps showed in their attacking play as they fired a blank in a goalless draw at Bournemouth on Saturday. It was a decent result against another in-form team and extended their unbeaten run to five games, and here they will be aiming for a third successive home win, which would represent a significant achievement for a side more well known for its exploits on the road.
For all of the attention that their wide players receive, Palace are getting ever better defensively and the strength of the centre-back partnership between Scott Dann and Damien Delaney is the main reason behind that. Dann came up with a heroic late block to preserve a point at Bournemouth while at the age of 34 Delaney continues to thrive, and as a duo they are a huge contributing factor to why Palace find themselves challenging for a European place.
After slipping into the bottom three on the weekend before Christmas, Swansea found the perfect time to end a run of seven games without a win stretching back to late October by triumphing over West Bromwich Albion in somewhat nervous fashion. After going ahead early on, they deserve credit for showing the character to hold on to their lead for the remainder of the encounter, even if they had a little fortune on their side as at least one strong penalty shout from the visitors was waved away.
While it was eventually bundled over the line, the decisive goal showed a glimpse of the kind of interplay that Swansea are capable of going forward, with Angel Rangel making a fine burst from the right-back position amid some neat one touch passing. They will need that kind of swift attacking play if they are to break down Palace here, and given that the two teams set up with the same 4-2-3-1 formation the battle to come out on top will be quite a fascinating one.
Bolasie faces at least a month out for Palace along with Connor Wickham, while fellow attacking players Dwight Gayle and Bakary Sako are also set to miss this one.
Swansea have no injury problems, meaning that striker Eder and defender Franck Tabanou are their only absentees.
Last Meeting: A goal early in the second half from Marouane Chamakh secured a top half finish for Palace as it ensured victory over Swansea on the final day of last season. There were few chances on either side, but the Moroccan striker was on hand to turn the ball home after a free-kick was helped on by Scott Dann and lift the hosts to a final points tally of 48.
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