After international break and the World Cup 2018 qualifications games, Premier league returns to action this Saturday and we’ll point out an interesting clash between Crystal Palace and West Ham United.
Why interesting? According to results this season it seems like the Eagles could take Hammer’s last season place. Slaven Bilic’s boys after having an amazing (last) season at the start of the new are struggling to take points. There are several reasons for that.
A new stadium obviously doesn’t have a “soul” of the Boleyn Ground, players are still trying to compensate to this change, while on the other side the Croatian manager is having an injury crisis and can’t make the first lineup as he should if all players are fit. Another reason for a bad start is Dimitri Payet. The French magician started a new season late, due to injury and he’s still finding the right form. That he’s right form is on horizon suggests a goal which Payet scored for 1-1 Middlesbrough and thus saved a point for his side. It was a beauty.
What’s more interesting about this clash is that between these two teams fans always can see a lot of goals. Further, except in the last season when Crystal Palace played a 2-2 draw at the Boleyn Ground, in the last five mutual encounters, guests always took all three points.
On one side the Eagles who have one just one of their last four top-flight matches with the Hammers, drawing one and losing two, are on hot run of the five unbeaten games in Premier League (W3 D2 L0), and Alan Pardew’s men can play with confidence and more relaxed game, especially when they brought Christian Benteke from Liverpool to make difference in attack. A reason for that likely a money injection of the new Official Club Sponsor – Mansion Group, owner of online gaming platforms. In the last game, the Eagles took a big point away against Everton, while West Ham played the same 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough.
On the other side, West Ham United remained practically empty handed this transfer window. All players which were Bilic’s targets, ended in different clubs. At the end on a loan the Italian striker Zaza joined the Hammers from Juventus, but it can be seen that the team chemistry still is not right, so it’s hard to expect a huge lift of performances, at least until the first team is fit.
Playing under pressure is never easy for anyone, but West Ham United fans are asking for much more. In their last five top-flight games the Hammers are still in search of the win (W0 D1 L4), which is the longest winless streak in the Premier league since last season and December 2015 when Bilic’s men in eight games failed to take all three points.
This all will make this game an interesting one, where we are expecting to see once again a lot of goals.