Let us briefly touch on the elephant in the room here… the last time the Eagles travelled to South Wales the game culminated in a glut of goals in the dying minutes, and none of us need to be reminded any more than that…
Since then you would expect things to be quite different, but in reality, they really aren’t so. Swansea are languishing at the bottom of the Premier League and have now lost their manager while Palace have just escaped the bottom three and unbeaten in seven games.
The decision to sack Paul Clement was on the cards but it is a shame that the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich assistant could not get anything going this season. In an interview on the BBC’s Premier League Show last season, Clement came across a very likable character that knew his stuff but sometimes the nice guys can’t quite cut it. Perhaps he is destined to be a successful number two, adding to a long line of those that have gone before him.
Regardless, teams that have just lost their manager are often a different proposition in the first game after such a decision so Palace are likely to have a tougher job on their hands at the Liberty than they may have done with Clement still in charge.
Roy Hodgson’s side make the trip full of confidence having managed a first Premier League win of the season at Leicester last weekend. Not only that, there was a first away league goal, three of them in fact as well as a first goal for Christian Benteke who unfortunately misses this one due to suspension.
Maybe Palace can continue with those firsts this weekend with a first win over the Swans in six games, the last being at Selhurst Park in May 2015.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Timothy Fosu-Mensah (hamstring) and Joel Ward (groin) are both major doubts while Mamadou Sakho (calf), Connor Wickham (knee) and Damien Delaney (surgery) will not feature. Christian Benteke is banned after receiving his fifth booking of the season against Leicester City last weekend while Luka Milivojevic returns from suspension.
SWANSEA CITY – Wilfried Bony (hamstring) Kyle Bartley (knee), and Leon Britton (calf) will not feature while Leroy Fer (back), Wayne Routledge (muscle) and Ki Sung-yeung (calf) will all face late fitness tests.
One of few visitors to South London during the brief reign of Dutchman Frank de Boer and it was easy to see why the stay was so short. The Swans took all three points back to South Wales courtesy of a strikes either side of the break from Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew. All Palace had to show for this game was another injury to James Tomkins who limped off before half time.
Who Scored man of the match – Tammy Abraham
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 26/08/2017 Crystal Palace 0-2 Swansea City
- 03/01/2017 Crystal Palace 1-2 Swansea City
- 26/11/2016 Swansea City 5-4 Crystal Palace
- 06/02/2016 Swansea City 1-1 Crystal Palace
- 28/12/2015 Crystal Palace 0-0 Swansea City
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 16/12/2017 Leicester City 0-3 Crystal Palace
- 12/12/2017 Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford
- 09/12/2017 Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth
- 02/12/2017 West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Crystal Palace
- 28/11/2017 Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Swansea;
- 18/12/2017 Everton 3-1 Swansea City
- 13/12/2017 Swansea City 0-4 Manchester City
- 09/12/2017 Swansea City 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
- 02/12/2017 Stoke City 2-1 Swansea City
- 29/11/2017 Chelsea 1-0 Swansea City
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Wilfried Zaha 7.26
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek 7.09
- Lukasz Fabianski 6.97
- Kyle Naughton 6.96
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Polonia Slubice, MSP Szamotuly, Lubuszanin Drezdenko, Sparta Brodnica, Mieszko Gniezno, Lech Poznan, Legia Warsaw, Arsenal
The Polish international goalkeeper moved between a number of clubs at youth level after starting in Slubice. His move from Lech Poznan to Legia Warsaw in 2005 was the making of him. Fabianski was understudy to Artur Boruc but made his pofessional debut when Boruc signed for Scottish side Celtic. After over 50 appearances for Warsaw, Arsenal signed the now 32 year old for a fee of £2.1million in 2007. In almost seven years at the North London club, Fabianski made just a little over 30 appearances so moved on to Swansea in 2014 on a free transfer. To date, he has made over a century of appearances for the South Wales club and is currently their number one keeper. Fabianski has 42 international caps after making his debut in 2006.
Final league position – 18th
As things stand, everything points towards a season that will end in disappointment with a return to the Championship. However, in light of the news this week that has seen Paul Clement relieved of his duties and a successor yet to be announced at the time of writing, it will be interesting to see if the timing is right to give the club a much needed lift going into the New Year. There is no doubt that this side will come out fighting at some stage but remains to be seen if it will be too late when they finally do show some spirit.
- TEB prediction – away win
- Who Scored prediction – home win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 23/10
- Draw – 2/1
- Away – 7/5
- Both teams to score – evens