Crystal Palace will be looking to get one over former manager Tony Pulis as the Welshman brings his West Bromwich Albion side to Selhurst Park boasting an unbeaten record on the road during which they have not conceded a goal.
After an off-colour performance at Tottenham which saw them lack their usual dynamism and verve, the Eagles have recovered in style by sweeping aside rivals Charlton Athletic in the Capital One Cup and then avoiding a third straight Premier League loss in beating Watford in a tight affair last time out. They just carried that little bit more quality and threat than their newly-promoted opponents, with an improved Wilfried Zaha making the difference after coming off the bench.
It represented an impressive response from a player who was singled out for criticism by manager Alan Pardew after lacking application at Tottenham, and Zaha is aware that his place in the team is under scrutiny due to the presence of more star wingers in the shape of Yannick Bolasie and Bakary Sako. But for all that attacking talent Palace need a strong defence, and will have been buoyed by the efforts of veteran centre-back Brede Hangeland at Watford; the Norwegian keeping the dangerous Odion Ighalo quiet.
It is likely that West Brom will be smarting from their incomprehensible failure to take anything from their game against Everton on Monday, where they looked so comfortable at the moment they opened up a two-goal lead. They had restricted the Toffees to very few chances up until that point, and possessed one of the division’s strongest defensive record, so to see them switch off from the kick-off and subsequently melt came as a surprise to many.
It ruined what had initially been a very good, hardworking performance, and leaves them with just one point from a possible 12 at home and in 15th place, meaning they will be extra determined to get a result here to avoid being dragged towards the bottom three. Like any team that comes face to face with Palace these days, their two full-backs will be tested throughout and will require maximum protection, so there is great emphasis on Saido Berahino and James McClean to do their defensive duty.
There are no new injury problems for Crystal Palace, but they are still without defenders Damien Delaney and Joel Ward, midfielder Mile Jedinak and striker Connor Wickham.
West Brom are hopeful over the fitness of defender Gareth McAuley, and his potential return could be timely as Jonas Olsson is expected to miss out with a groin problem.
Played for both – Jerome Thomas: The winger joined West Brom in the summer of 2009 and helped them to promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt, and went on to score four goals in 72 appearances in the top-flight until he left in 2013 after first-team chances became hard to come by. He moved to Palace, but never established himself, making only 10 outings without scoring.