West Ham vs Crystal Palace – The Inside Track On The Eagles

Manuel Lanzini, West Ham. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)
Manuel Lanzini, West Ham. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images) /

As the Christmas fixtures start to come thick and fast West Ham must be prepared to face their next opponent, Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace, like West Ham, have had a good start to the season and are challenging for a top ten position. To get a better understanding of the Eagles this season GSH spoke to Palace fansite The Eagles Beak to get the inside track.

1. What are Palace’s hopes for the season?

Fans really want the club to push on but as we all know, you have to be careful what you wish for in this division. Having said that, with the squad that we have in place at Roy Hodgson’s disposal for this season is one of the best we have had in terms of options in most positions from goalkeeper through to strikers.

A top ten finish would be welcome, considering our highest finish has been 10th in the Premier League but there are plenty that would really like to see their club play in Europe. The excitement is there with this squad but so is the realism among fans but I do really believe a top ten finish is very achievable considering how the season has shaped up so far.

2. Who are Palaces dangermen in the team?

Eberechi Eze, Crystal Palace.
Eberechi Eze, Crystal Palace. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images) /

This would always have been Wilfried Zaha but at the time of writing, it is not just him. You know more than most what damage Wilf can do but I would also mention Jeffrey Schlupp and Christian Benteke in view of their recent form but just as dangerous right now is Eberechi Eze.

The step up to the Premier League is huge but at his young age, he has acclimatised quickly and just plays his natural attacking game. He is a joy to watch when he picks up the balls and drives forward and is a real star in the making.

3. What are the weak points in the Palace team, that West Ham can exploit?

This Palace team are hard to break down, particularly more recently so it is hard to pinpoint an area of weakness but if I was pushed I would say central midfield is often where the game is won and lost. This is where James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic, the two currently retaining those central midfield slots, both need to be at their best which has been the case in the last couple of games and long may that continue.

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There are plenty of options though and it is hard to decide which combination is better when you can throw James McCarthy and Cheikhou Kouyate into the mix (the latter currently playing well as centre back.

4. What have you made of West Ham this season?

Dubious start but you have found some much-needed consistency which has seen you climb the table by beating those sides that you would hope to beat on paper. That is the key in this division but it is rarely as straight-forward as that as we all know.

5. Which West Ham player worries you the most?

It would probably have to be Jarrod Bowen. It is no secret that Palace was interested in signing him but the Hammers just pipped us and he has put in some really good performances for you having settled in quickly.

The former Hull man always caught the eye in the Championship and it was only a matter of time before he played his trade in the Premier League. If we had signed Bowen, we probably would not have got Eze so all good things come to those who wait 😉

6. Who is your favourite player to play for both Crystal Palace and West Ham?

Cheikhou Kouyate former West Ham Player.
Cheikhou Kouyaté former West Ham Player. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images) /

Two players in our side I struggle to understand why West Ham let them go (although with James Tomkins currently being injured and seemingly made of glass, I can kind of get), so Cheikhou Kouyaté just edges it for me as he has been great for us, particularly being able to play at centre back.

7. Match Prediction?

Midweek on Amazon Prime. A lot of football has been played in a short space of time already this season but the 48 hours West Ham over Palace in terms of when they played at the weekend may play a role in both the game and the approach taken by the managers, particularly Hodgson.

For me, I would not change a winning team but it was a hard-fought point against Spurs on Sunday and I would be happy with the same again ahead of taking on Liverpool on Saturday.

Next. Referee For West Ham’s Clash With Crystal Palace Announced. dark

8. Scoreline?