Crystal Palace vs West Ham: Predicted line-up for The Eagles
Palace will be looking to get back to winning ways against their London rivals, with only one point coming in their last two games.
You can read the three ways that Palace can get the upper hand on West Ham here.
This will be the Eagles’ third game in seven days, so the packed schedule may impact team selection.
Here’s how we think they will line up.
Goalkeeper: Vicente Guaita
Defence: Joel Ward, Chris Richards, Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell
Midfield: Eberechi Eze, Cheick Doucoure, Jeffrey Schlupp
Attack: Michael Olise, Odsonne Edouard, Jordan Ayew
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With Sam Johnstone’s good run of form, Guaita has found it difficult to make his way back into the first team, as he returns from injury.
The Spaniard has been on Palace’s bench for the last two games, but he might find himself back in the side after Johnstone conceded a penalty at the end of Palace’s last game, that sealed the win for Wolves.
Ward was dropped to the bench for The Eales’ trip to Wolves in midweek, with Chris Richards coming in to replace him. However, after Joachim Anderson’s injury, Richards moved into centre-back and Ward came on at right-back, which is likely to be his starting position at the weekend.
Before the Wolves match, Richards hadn’t started for Palace for 11 games, but he’s likely to start his second game in a row at the weekend. Following Joachim Anderson’s injury, Richards is the favourite to replace him at centre-back.
Given Palace’s injury issues, there is an even lower chance that Hodgson would experiment by taking out Guehi. The Englishman has been one of Palace’s top performers this season, and will most likely play next to Richards on Saturday.
Mitchell has started every game under Hodgson so far, and that trend isn’t expected to change against West Ham.
Doucoure was rested against Wolves, in what turned out to be Palace’s first loss since Hodgson took charge. Therefore it seems nailed on that Malian will return to the starting line-up.
Schlupp came off the bench to try and help Palace recover the game against Wolves on Tuesday, and following the first loss in Hodgson’s return to the club, is likely to come back into the starting line-up.
Eze was the only midfielder that kept his place for Palace’s trip to Wolves, which only signifies his importance to the team. Eze has been Palace’s outstanding player over the month of April, and is very likely to start in Palace’s last game of the month.
With Wilfred Zaha still out of the squad with injury, Jordan Ayew is likely to return to his place on the wing. The Palace attacker played through the middle against Wolves on Tuesday, but with Eze’s likely return to midfield, the Ghanaian is expected to come back to the left-wing.
Another Palace player that was rotated due to fixture congestion; Edouard came off the bench in an attempt to salvage the game at Molineux Stadium. With Eze and Ayew like to shift positions, it is expected that Edouard will fill the vacant striker position.
Despite not scoring, Olise offered the same creative threat against Wolves that he’s all season. The Eagles don’t have a suitable replacement for Olise, but even if they did, it’s likely Olise would start the majority of games anyway. Like Eze, Olise has started every game under Hodgson so far, so hopefully fatigue doesn’t hinder his performances anytime soon.