Having slipped into the bottom half of the table, Crystal Palace will be desperate for their first Premier League victory since December 22 when they welcome Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth to Selhurst Park.
Just mere weeks ago the Eagles were fifth, but a poor run that has coincided with a lean spell in front of goal has seen them career down the standings in what is at present a very congested league. Ahead of this encounter they will be hoping that progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup will have inspired some confidence and the scorer of the winner in that game against Stoke City, Wilfried Zaha, may hold the key to deciding matters in their favour here with his technique and trickery.
As for their last Premier League outing, Palace gave as good as they got at home to in-form Champions League hopefuls Tottenham but were just missing that little bit of luck, being denied by the woodwork twice in quick succession and seeing opposition goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at the top of his game. Not much has to change for this one, where Alan Pardew is likely to give a debut to his new wild card Emmanuel Adebayor; a top quality striker on his day.
Bournemouth will not be feeling all too comfortable in their current position as they lie just the four points above the relegation zone, but they achieved a respectable result a week and-a-half ago at Sunderland, a game which had they lost they would have been seriously looking over their shoulders. Big-money January signing Benik Afobe was on target for the second game in succession as his side dominated the first half hour, but after the equaliser that followed they were reasonably content with a point.
A double substitution from Howe then provided the impetus for a comeback win in the FA Cup at League Two Portsmouth on Saturday, so the Cherries will come into this in a positive frame of mind. The return of Tommy Elphick in defence is a huge boost, but it will be interesting to see how they line up in attack, with Glenn Murray potentially in line to start against the side whom he left last summer, and Palace are very aware of the threat he poses.
Adebayor could replace Connor Wickham, as the Palace striker continues to serve a three-match ban. Yohan Cabaye is doubtful, while fellow midfielder Joe Ledley is definitely out.
There are no new injury worries for Bournemouth, who will make changes from the weekend victory but are still without long-term absentees Max Gradel, Tyrone Mings and Callum Wilson.