Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Palace can ill-afford a battering from the Cherries

Crystal Palace come to AFCB on the back of a crunching 0-3 home defeat to Man City in the FA Cup. It was not ideal preparation for Sam Allardyce's side, especially as he played a good number of his first team side in the fourth round of the cup. The league is what matters though for Allardyce and Palace this season and they may find this game comes too quickly for them.
Palace are likely to have a few different players from last time the two teams met.
I was looking through the Palace line-up against Man City and was a bit surprised to see Crhsitain Benteke, Andros Townsend, Joe Ledley and Jeffry Schlupp on the filed from the start. That seemed to back fire as Schlupp was taken off with a hamdtring pull after 76 minutes. They did make some other subs too, as the game moved away from them. Consistency is something that Palace have been struggling with just like the Cherries and on the road the Eagles have just had two win this season at Middlesbrough and Sunderland, plus a couple of draws.

The Watford away game they had on Boxing Day s the last time they scored away from home and they are still waiting for their first Premier League point of 2017. So is this a good time to play Palace? Absolutely, the Cherries must take advantage of this opportunity. There have been some close games with Palace, but this is a side that will play only one way against AFCB - it will be a long ball, height and set-plays for AFCB to defend. Howe knows what is coming and he needs to get a plan in place to nullify the physical side of Palace's game. Cabaye is there best play-maker, but if he is kept deep, then AFCB can get the upper hand in this game.

Benteke is the striker that will need the most looking after. He has eight goals now and is starting to look like the only man who is going to get them out of trouble with his ability to score goals on a regular basis. But it is the supply routes that AFCB must cut off. Wilfred Zaha is back from the Ivory Cup of Nations, the Ivory Coast having been knocked out and he didn't play in the FA Cup match fourth round which indicates that he will be available for this game. Spurs are said to be lining up a bid for the young winger and that could also be a reason for his absence from the team last weekend.

An under-performing Zaha though or one who is not quite on it may also be something that AFCB can exploit. Palace are reinforcing their side though having bought defender Patrick van Aanholt from Sunderland for a fee that could rise to £14m. Allardyce is still chasing two more signings as well, according to BBC reports.

Palace know it is now or never for them this season now. So AFCB can't be at all fragile in their defence which is going to have to improve for this match.

Crystal Palace Away Form

AFCB Home Form

Possible AFCB line up
Boruc (GK), A Smith (RB), Francis (CD), S Cook (CD), Daniels (LB),
Stanislas (RM), L Cook (CD), Surman (CD), Fraser (LD), Wilshere (FW), C Wilson (FW)

Federici, B Smith, Mings, Gosling, King, Ibe, Afobe ( Arter, I just feel might be rested)

Premier Talk
Why oh why is it transfer deadline day with matches going on?

Transfer News

Marc Wilson is linked with WBA and Hull City are still trying to get Max Gradel to sign. Glenn Murray is also ready to sign to Brighton & Hove Albion for £3m, according to Sky Sports.

The Cherry Chimes' Newsletter is out tomorrow.

Cherry Chimes' February Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month, plus there is a special Newsletter article entitled: Are AFCB just making up the numbers?

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