FA Cup Preview – Doncaster Rovers
The fifth round of the FA Cup is upon the Eagles for the second time in four seasons as the South London side travel to Doncaster Rovers to battle for a place in the last eight.
Palace have only reached the quarter final stage once since losing in the semi final to Manchester United (the Eagles nemesis in this competition!) during the 1994/95 season. That once, of course, was in 2015/16 when a victory over Spurs was a notch on the journey to the final.
With Tottenham put the sword in the previous round, fans could be forgiven for thinking that the stars are aligning with fellow Premier League sides being disposed from the competition left, right and centre. This could be a real opportunity for clubs like Palace but this fifth round tie is certainly not to be taken for granted.
As several top flight sides have shown already, Palace need to be wary of lower league opposition in this competition and must take the game seriously. There is no doubting that Roy Hodgson will agree.
The League One side are in great form, only losing once since the turn of the year which has forced themselves into the play off places as they look for a return to the Championship. They host this cup tie with a good scoring record having put three into the back of the net in each of their last two league games.
A 3-1 away win at Championship side Preston North End followed up with a 2-1 home win over Oldham Athletic from League Two has got Rovers to their first FA Cup fifth round tie in over fifty years.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Pape Souare (shoulder) is unavailable while Julian Speroni (knock) is a slight doubt. James Tomkins (calf) and Cheikhou Kouyate (ankle) are unlikely to be risked after missing the draw with West Ham. Connor Wickham (knock) is a doubt to be fit for this one after scoring against Spurs in the last round.
DONCASTER ROVERS – No injury concerns for the hosts with goalkeeper Ian Lawlor already out for the season. Joe Wright is back in contention after nearly four months out while Tyler Smith is ineligible due to his loan spell from Sheffield United. Expecting a full strength side to face Palace. (Courtesy of Liam Hoden)
The last time the two sides met was all the way back in 2012 when Doncaster were the visitors to South London in a Championship fixture. The hosts took the lead shortly into the second half courtesy of Jermain Easter after some great work by Wilfried Zaha who had just returned from a three match ban. The Eagles cause had not been helped with both centre halves, Paul McShane and Anthony Gardner, leaving the game due to injury in the first 25 minutes. An equaliser from Chris Brown in the final quarter of an hour was not enough to prevent Dean Saunders’ men dropping to the foot of the table.
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 27/03/2012 Crystal Palace 1-1 Doncaster Rovers
- 24/09/2011 Doncaster Rovers 1-0 Crystal Palace
- 22/04/2011 Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Crystal Palace
- 27/11/2010 Crystal Palace 1-0 Doncaster Rovers
- 27/02/2010 Doncaster Rovers 1-1 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 09/02/2019 Crystal Palace 1-1 West Ham United
- 02/02/2019 Crystal Palace 2-0 Fulham
- 30/01/2019 Southampton 1-1 Crystal Palace
- 27/01/2019 Crystal Palace 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur
- 19/01/2019 Liverpool 4-3 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Doncaster;
- 12/02/2019 Doncaster Rovers 3-0 Southend United
- 09/02/2019 Doncaster Rovers 3-1 Peterborough United
- 02/02/2019 Portsmouth 1-1 Doncaster Rovers
- 26/01/2019 Doncaster Rovers 2-1 Oldham Athletic
- 19/01/2019 Doncaster Rovers 2-2 Burton Albion
THE RECORD AGAINST DONCASTER
- Played 16
- Won 8
- Drawn 3
- Lost 5
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Millwall, Staines Town (loan), Portsmouth (loan), Torquay United (loan), Nortampton Town (three separate loan spells), Cheltenham Town (loan), Gillingam (loan), Leyton Orient (loan)
With more than twenty goals to his name this season, there was a time when it was thought the 26-year-old would not find a home with so many different loan spells to his name. The Lewisham born striker began his career at Millwall but struggled to break through after working his way through the youth set up, hence the large number of spells away from the club. He did go on to make over fifty appearances for the South London club after making his first team debut in 2009. Doncaster came calling in 2016 where he signed a two year deal. To date he has made over 100 appearances for Rovers and scored over 50 goals.
A lot will depend on the line up that Hodgson will go for to take on the League One opposition but the club must see this as a chance for progression into the latter stages. With that being said, the Eagles have to be wary of the threat that Doncaster carry with good form on their side. In contrast, Palace do have a better set up for playing away from home with plenty of pace and the ability to play on the counter effectively. TEB are going for Palace to sneak a 2-1 win after a tight, entertaining affair between the two.
- TEB prediction – away win
- Liam Hoden prediction (see link below) – home win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 9/2
- Draw – 3/1
- Away – 8/15
- Both teams to score – 3/4