On Matchday Ten of the 2017/2018 Premier League season, Slaven Bilic’s Hammers make the trip to South London to face off with Crystal Palace, in what could be a decisive clash for the Croat’s future in East London.
The Eagles, under Roy Hodgson, come into the clash off the back of Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup embarrassment at the hands of Bristol City, meanwhile the travelling Claret & Blue Army will be brimming with confidence after a comeback cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in midweek.
The clash will kick-off at 3 PM tomorrow afternoon (Saturday 28 October 2017) and as is customary with games of that time, there will be no live television coverage available in the UK.
But, live radio commentary can be tuned into on BBC Radio London on Saturday, however, if you don’t have access to a radio at the time of the encounter, you can be sure to find live build-up, action, and reaction from the tie by heading over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter.
The game is scheduled to take place at Crystal Palace’s traditional Premier League ground of Selhurst Park, located to the South East of Central London and famed for its rocking atmosphere.
Originally opened as a football stadium in 1925, the venue holds just over 25,000 spectators, many of whom complain of a restricted view, especially in the away section.
Interestingly, Selhurst Park is the only ground in English football to have a branch of the supermarket Sainsbury’s built into it and the host of the first Real Madrid game in London, when the Spanish giants opened the new floodlights back in 1962.
It is also a stadium that we have fared very well at in recent times, winning on each of our last three visits, most recently in October 2016, when a first-half strike from Manuel Lanzini was enough to separate the two sides. The Argentine has netted in every single game he has ever played against Palace.
Roy Hodgson confirmed in this week’s pre-West Ham United press conference that midfielder James McArthur is struggling for fitness heading into the clash, while Chung-Yong Lee also has a 50/50 chance after picking up an injury at Ashton Gate.
But, the hosts will certainly be without the attacking duo of Connor Wickham and Christian Benteke who remain out injured, providing a huge blow to their goal-scoring threat.
Whereas, Slaven Bilic who speaks to the press today, follow our Live Blog, will still be without defender James Collins and forward Diafra Sakho for the trip, as they remain sidelined with ankle and knee injuries respectively.
2016/2017 Hammer of the Year Michail Antonio will have a late fitness test to determine whether he will be able to play a part after receiving a knock to the ribs at home to Brighton last Friday, Bilic is expected to make plenty of changes from the Spurs victory.
The teams of Crystal Palace and West Ham United have met 54 times in competition football over a 111-year period.
The record makes for pleasant viewing for Hammers as we have been triumphant 22 times in the fixture, as opposed to The Eagle’s 14 victories, there have been 18 draws.
In our last meeting with our Cockney rivals, goals from Sofiane Feghouli and Manuel Lanzini, in addition to a Goal of the Season contender from Andy Carroll were enough for a 3-0 home romp.
Notable past encounters have included Palace’s 2004 Championship playoff final triumph at The Millennium Stadium, our 1923 1-5 victory at The Herne Hill Velodrome and an incredible recent run where four consecutive games were won by the away side in the fixture.
Crystal Palace Football Club was founded in 1905 by owners of the Crystal Palace Exhibition, looking for a team to play in their new FA Cup final stadium, now known as The Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
The club’s most successful period came in the early 1990’s as they finished third in the old First Division, what is now the Premier League and won the Full Member’s Cup.
However, a lull in form wouldn’t be too far around the corner, not helped by money trouble and going into Administration, but since being promoted via the playoffs in 2014, they have managed to remain in the Premier League.
Incredibly, they are one of the only top-flight teams to have never won the League Cup or the FA Cup in their existence, coming closest in 2016 when they lost in extra-time of the FA Cup final to Manchester United.
Nowadays, The Eagles are sitting in 20th place after a shambolic start to the Premier League campaign that has seen them lose eight out of nine and only score in one game, albeit a home victory over champions Chelsea.
But, after the sacking of Frank De Boer, they are now managed by former England boss Roy Hodgson and with his experience, they are due a revival that could well start tomorrow.
Who Is Officiating?
Experienced Premier League referee Bobby Madley will take charge at Selhurst Park, with Marc Perry and Adrian Holmes playing the roles of his assistants, and James Linington as fourth official.
So, with the scene very much set and all of tomorrow afternoon’s action in South London previewed, will The Eagles soar to a surprise victory to kick-start their torrid campaign?
Or, can our Hammers claim a first win on the road of the season to make it consecutive victories in cup and league? What do you think? Find us on Twitter to join the debate and to get your score predictions in.