Crystal Palace will be desperate to end their five-match goal drought as they target victory at home to London rivals and Champions League hopefuls Tottenham on Saturday.
They had chances early on in their last match at Manchester City, but the Eagles were unable to break the deadlock before the second bad error in as many outings by goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey saw them fall behind and it was a setback from which they could not recover, ending up on the end of a comprehensive defeat. The Welsh international’s place in the team will now be coming under threat, so here he will need all the protection he can get from centre-backs Scott Dann and Brede Hangeland.
The visitors are one of the most difficult teams in the Premier League to score against, so Palace really need to buck their ideas up in the final third. They have more than enough in terms of creativity even without the injured Yannick Bolasie, but all season the strikers have not been delivering the goods and that is beginning to catch up with them, with the club having slipped eight points behind Tottenham after being level with them as recently as the festive period.
After the frustration of losing at home to Leicester City, for a moment or so it seemed that it would be a similar story for Spurs against struggling Sunderland last weekend as they fell behind on 40 minutes despite being the dominant force until then. However, they were soon back on terms and from then on they gained in confidence, going on to win with comfort in the second half, and so they are now only five points off top spot.
The most pleasing aspect of that performance was the return to form of Christian Eriksen, who had been unusually quiet and ineffective for some weeks leading up to it, with his only previous Premier League goal this term coming in early October. The Dane will be a key figure for Spurs as they look to achieve their goals in the months ahead, and when he is at his best his side will be all the stronger. Indeed, it may just be his creativity that decides the outcome here in what looks set to be a tight encounter.
Dwight Gayle has a hamstring injury and so misses out for Palace along with Damien Delaney and the aforementioned Bolasie.
Tottenham will make changes from their FA Cup replay win over Leicester City in the week, but Son Heung-min and Nacer Chadli are pushing for starts after both scored in that game. Ryan Mason remains injured.
Last Meeting: Palace looked to be struggling in Alan Pardew’s first Premier League match in charge of the club in January 2015, but a disputed penalty saw them turn it around in the final quarter of the game and win 2-1. Harry Kane opened the scoring for the visitors with a low shot, but it was cancelled out by Dwight Gayle after Benjamin Stambouli was adjudged to have brought down Joe Ledley in the box. An 80th minute winner from Jason Puncheon then sent Selhurst Park into raptures.
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