West Ham Chasing Top Four Against Palace | Match Preview

Vladimir Coufal, West Ham. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Vladimir Coufal, West Ham. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) /

West Ham could find themselves inside the Premier League’s top four places if they beat Crystal Palace on Tuesday night. With a victory and three points, David Moyes’ side could leapfrog Liverpool and into the top-four. Though it may be only for 24 hours.

The Hammers are going into the game after thrashing League One side Doncaster Rovers 4-0 in the FA Cup on Saturday. West Ham’s opposition Crystal Palace, however, should be well-rested after losing to Manchester City on the 17th January.

In the reverse fixture, the teams drew against each other at the London Stadium. West Ham fought back from going behind and scored via a spectacular overhead kick from ex-hammer Sebastien Haller.

West Ham Team News

After making multiple changes for the Cup match against Doncaster, there should be plenty of changes to David Moyes’ side. First-teamers such as Angelo Ogbonna, Craig Dawson, Aaron Cresswell, Vladimir Coufal, Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio are all expected to return to the team.

With the return of the stars of the squad, it does mean many that played in the cup will be dropped to the bench. Despite impressing Andriy Yarmolenko, Ben Johnson, Mark Noble, Manuel Lanzini, Ryan Fredericks, Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop will probably be left disappointed when the team is selected.

The Hammers only have one long-term absentee. Arthur Masuaku is still recovering from surgery on a knee injury. The defender is expected to be out for a least two more months. This lay-off means that Moyes will likely stick with a four at the back formation.

West Ham have surprised everyone this season and could start seriously challenging for a European place.

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Predicted Starting XIs

West Ham Formation: 4-4-1-1

Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Bowen, Rice (C), Soucek, Fornals, Benrhama & Antonio.

Crystal Palace Formation: 4-2-3-1

Guaita, Ward, Kouyate, Cahil, Mitchell, Milivojevic (C), McArthur, Townsend, Eze, Zaha & Ayew.

Match Prediction | 2-1 to West Ham

There is good and bad news for West Ham. Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha has returned to fitness and will be available for the match. Though new signing Jean-Philippe Mateta is unlikely to play as confirmed by Roy Hodgson.

This means the Hammers will be against the same attack that they controlled well in the reverse fixture. Moyes’ side, on the other hand, will have Antonio fit and firing for the match. The English striker missed the first match but is back fit and firing with two goals in his last two Premier League games.

These changes could be what separates the sides at Selhurst Park. Antonio’s movement could cause plenty of issues for Gary Cahill and Cheikhou Kouyate. The two central defenders are strong but not the fastest compared to Antonio and will have to sit-back to try and stop the striker. This will allow space for Bowen and co to create chances to win the game.

Next. West Ham Mass Striker Links Prove Scattergun Approach. dark

Both sides have been solid defensively recently, expect for Palace’s last game against City, and it could be a game won by the odd goal. The Hammers possesses better firepower and should be able to edge out their city rivals.