Crystal Palace v West Ham – Premier League Betting Preview and Prediction
Crystal Palace and West Ham are set to lock horns this Tuesday in an exciting Boxing Day match between two Premier League sides who are still searching for their form this season. The match will take place at Selhurst Park, where Crystal Palace will look to repeat their success from back in October when they defeated West Ham 2:1 at the Olympic Stadium.
Weather: Mostly cloudy with some rain, 9°C
This will be Andre Marriner’s 12th EPL fixture as a referee. He has previously refereed the match between Liverpool and Watford, where he showed three yellow cards for his third consecutive fixture. So far this season, Marriner has shown 32 yellow and two red cards, with a total of 18 yellow and one red card in his last five.
Crystal Palace looking to impress against well-rested West Ham
As it stands now, Crystal Palace are sitting at a comfortable 12th place in the league, which Roy Hudgson’s men reached with a solid 6-5-7 run throughout the opening 18 EPL rounds.
Hudson has been doing a solid job of keeping Crystal Palace outside the relegation zone, yet he was not all too happy with his team’s defeat against Newcastle United on Saturday. On that day, the main issue Palace has been dealing with surfaced and that is their lack of firepower.
In 18 EPL fixtures so far, Palace saw only 15 goals and failed to score more than once in all but one of their last eight games, including the last four against Bournemouth (1:0), Watford (0:0), Brighton (1:1) and previously mentioned Newcastle (0:1).
Crystal Palace’s main creative outlet remains Wilfried Zaha, which is completely fine as it is, but it seems like the team tends to be over-reliant on the attacker’s ability. As we see it they lack any real goal scorers outside Jordan Ayew (4) and Zaha (3).
In their last five Crystal Palace have not seen more than two goals. Furthermore, nine of the Palace’s 10 home games ended with under 2.5 goals, with the Eagles failing to score in eight out of their 18 league fixtures so far this season.
With that in mind, there is no going around the fact Hudgson’s top priority in the next transfer window is to sign another striker if Crystal Palace are serious about contesting a spot in the upper half of the league table.
Out: Scott Dann, Andros Townsend, Gary Cahill, Jeffery Schlupp, Joel Ward
Manuel Pellegrini sitting on a hot seat
Manuel Pellegrini’s future as a head coach of West Ham could be put to a test here, seeing how the Hammers failed to make any serious indications they are capable of guaranteeing themselves another season in the Premier League.
The Hammers went through some tough times from September up to the end of November, where they put up a seven-game winless run, which came to a close with a shock win against Chelsea (1:0) in round 14. While that win inspired a lot of hope in West Ham’s camp, the enthusiasm died out when they dropped two in a row against Wolves (0:2) and Arsenal (1:3). The two back-to-back defeats put immense pressure on Pellegrini, which we can say helped West Ham secure a close 1:0 win against Southampton last weekend.
Much like their next opponents, West Ham have been struggling to make something happen in the attacking end of the field. Heading into their 18th fixture of the season, the Hammers have only 19 league goals to their name. It’s also worth noting four out of their last five away games have ended with less than 2.5 goals, with West Ham scoring in only two of them.
Suffice to say, West Ham have a lot of work left to be done when it comes to their potency with the ball, especially in away games, where they scored eight in nine fixtures.
Doubtful: Jack Wilshere, Lukasz Fabianski, David Martin, Manuel Lanzini
Out: Winston Reid
Suspended: Ryan Fredericks
Verdict & Prediction
West Ham are entering the Thursday’s bout with a four-point buffer over the relegation zone and one game in hand, but that should not make Pellegrini too comfortable with the position his team is currently in.
The festive period will give the Hammers an excellent opportunity to start their ascent up the league table and we can expect them to grab the opportunity with both hands. Their climb will start this Thursday and considering the team is rested, having skipped the last round fixture against Liverpool, the fans’ expectations are high.
Crystal Palace will enter the match with the same ambitions as their adversaries, and despite being priced as favorites, we can’t ignore the hosts are without a single win in their last three fixtures and again it seems like they are performing better on the road as compared to their home games.
In regards to their home fixtures, Crystal Palace have seen fewer goals scored (15) than any other Premier League side this season, having conceded eight and scored seven in nine visits at Selhurst Park.
West Ham on the other side have been one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to scoring goals in away games (8) and failed to find a way to the opponents net in three out of their last five outings.
All things considered, we like the appeal of an under 2.50 goals bet for this one.
Prediction: Under 2.50 Goals
Odds: 1.83 Pinnacle
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