Crystal Palace Match Preview
By Tom Dowsett
Wednesday 25 Dec 2019 18:06:00
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After winning away at Southampton when they were last in action on 14 December, West Ham United will attempt to build on that victory by following it up with another success as they face a London derby against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Boxing Day.

The Hammers are still sixteenth in the Premier League table, despite not having played last weekend.

West Ham's record at Selhurst Park have been decent in recent times and will hope to keep that run going, as they look for the perfect start to a busy period which includes four games in eleven days.

The Irons will also be looking for back-to-back away for the first time this season, while also having revenge on their minds, as the Eagles came from behind to win the reverse fixture back on 5 October.

Manuel Pellegrini will have to make the change in defence for the encounter in South London with Ryan Fredericks missing through suspension, after picking up his fifth booking of the campaign during the 1-0 victory at St Mary's last time, meaning Pablo Zabaleta will take his place at right-back.

Manuel Lanzini will hope to make his first start since the 3-0 defeat at Burnley on 9 December after making a quicker than expected recovery from a broken collarbone. Felipe Anderson should return after missing the game against the Saints with illness.

Pellegrini would prefer to choose between Lukasz Fabianski or David Martin but Martin picked up an injury last time out, whereas Fabianski hasn't featured since the 2-2 draw at AFC Bournemouth on 28 September, due to a hip injury.

With Saturday's encounter at home to Leicester City also in the manager's thinking, if neither of them make it, then he would have to bring Roberto Jiménez Gago back into the starting line-up.

The manager played two upfront against Ralph Hasenhüttl's men with Michail Antonio supporting Sébastien Haller and as it proved quite effective, he may stick with the same formation that earned his side a dominant win on the South Coast.

The match is a 3pm kick-off and as the encounter with Wolverhampton Wanderers was earlier this month, coverage will be available via Amazon Prime Video with build-up starting at 2:30pm.

The referee at Selhurst Park will be Andre Marriner.

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