Tuesday, 2 February 2016

We're off to Palace - but what striker will Pardew play?

Selhurst Park has always been a ground that I thought would be great to go and visit as it is only a short hop down the road from where I now live, but past visits have always been to see Palace play Liverpool in FA Cup games. Now it is the turn of the Cherries in the league and I think a Tuesday night game will be quite special under the lights in this famous ground.
Palace and AFCB will do battle again tonight.
Their new signing that has made most of the headlines is Emmanuel Adebayor and while the former Tottenham striker might not know much about his new London home, he is a player that has a habit of scoring on debut. Whether Adebayor gets a start though will probably depend on what kind of shape he is in. He has not played for some team football for some time, at least not in the Premier League.

While Palace drew a blank down at Dean Court they will be expecting to improve their goal count at home and if their new Togo striker is not rushed out to play against the Cherries they will hope for better things from Puncheon, Zaha and Campbell. Their interesting striker for me though is Dwight Gale, who Pardew does not seem to sure about or at least he has not given him the games that the young forward might have expected after his previous season's goal haul. Dwight has been linked with a move away but he still remains at Selhurst Park and would have something to prove, but his fitness is also not said to be 100 per cent. I'm less worried about Marouane Chamakh who was always a bit hit an miss – more often miss for me (he's yet to score this season) and Alan Pardew seems to agree looking at his team selections. Connor Wickham is suspended for this game.

Palace have slipped to 11th in the table now and their goal menace has started to dwindle having scored 24 goals in their 23 games, four less than the Cherries. The game would see Palace almost safe this season, but a defeat for them would pull the Cherries up to within three points of the Eagles and the table would start to take on a different look for the Palace fans. I can imagine a similar game to the one that played out at Stamford Bridge if Glenn Murray is left as a late sub, and if he did score in the last few minutes to give the Cherries three points, I can imagine that Alan Pardew's post-match interview might just be one of his more uncomfortable ones yet of this season. 

The latest team news is that top scorer Yohan Cabaye is on crutches and won't be playing in this game and Joe Ledley is also a doubt for Palace. I fancy Elphick to perhaps get a start for AFCB and Wiggins may just miss this game out with all the excitement of his transfer.

Probable AFCB team (4-5-1)
Boruc (GK), Francis (CD), Elphick (CD), Cook (CD), Daniels (LD),
Ritchie (RM), Surman (CM), Gosling (CM), Arter (CM), Pugh (LM), Afobe (FW)

Federici, Smith, Distin, Iturbe, Murray, King, Grabban

Crystal Palace Home Form

AFCB Away Form

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