Premier League – Crystal Palace v Swans at 15:00 on Monday, 28th December 2015
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Assistants: M Salisbury, S Beck
Fourth Official: L Mason
The relief at the final whistle as the Swans overcame West Brom was also tangible and hopefully the first win in eight Premier League outings will give the Swans the confidence boost they need to string an unbeaten run together in the quest to move away from the lower reaches of the league table.
Perhaps what was most pleasing about the victory over the Baggies was the way in which the whole team fought for every ball from the first to the last minute, it was far from pretty but all that mattered was the three points. It was nice to see us play badly and win – rather than the usual trait of impressing with the performance but failing to deliver the points.
High flying Palace will offer a different test to that posed by both West Ham and West Brom as they won’t wish to adopt a defensive style of play, so we can expect a more open game – which will no doubt suit the Swans down to the ground.
The change of style is likely to mean a change in personnel for the Swans and aside from injuries to Eder and Tabanou, it is likely that King Leon, Rangel and possibly Gylfi Sigurdsson likely to be rested. All three put a huge shift in during both the last two home games with Rangel in particular seeming to tire as the games wore on.
Whilst the injury room (thankfully) remains relatively quiet at the Liberty, the same cannot be said for Palace, whom like other Premier League teams we have faced over the past few weeks, are struggling with injuries.
The Eagles are likely to be without Connor Wickham, Yannick Bolasie, Bakary Sako, Dwight Gayle, with Scott Dann and Damien Delaney picking up knocks in their goalless draw at Bournemouth. That said Palace can still call upon the likes of Marouane Chamakh, Yohan Cabaye and Mile Jedinak as replacements.
Although current form doesn’t make good reading for the Travelling Jack Army – with Palace unbeaten in the last five Premier League fixtures, history makes much more pleasant reading with the Swans won three of their last four trips to Selhurst Park.
If history isn’t enough for you to back the Swans, then another positive omen is the fact that the man in charge of the game – Neil Swarbrick – officiated the Swans last win on the road, the 2-1 win at Villa Park in October.
So we’ve got a sneaky feeling the Swans revival will continue with a cheeky point gained on the road. Now wouldn’t that be a great way to end 2015!
Crystal Palace 1 Swans 1
What the Pundits Think
Paul Merson (Sky Sports) – Crystal Palace 3 Swans 1
Palace are not the best-suited side to playing at home but backed by the Selhurst Park crowd, they should have enough to overcome a Swansea team still searching for a manager. Alan Pardew has a very entertaining side on his hands and as they showed against Bournemouth on Saturday, they’re tough to break down so I’m backing them for a comfortable 3-1 victory.”
Mark Lawrenson (BBC) – Crystal Palace 3 Swans 0
The thing with these games around Christmas is always the quick turnaround. Will sides rotate their teams, move players around? There will be one or two knocks and niggles in every team and Crystal Palace look to be suffering more than most. Yannick Bolasie is out and he is a massive loss. He is such a good player and supplier, and he is a beast of a man. He’s very difficult to stop, he unhinges defences. Swansea’s win over West Brom will do them the power of good and they can go and nick a point. They still haven’t got a manager but they just needed a game where they got a bit of luck and they did that on Boxing Day. “
Steve Wilson (MOTD Commentator)
European qualification would not flatter Alan Pardew’s excellent side – the best Palace team since Wright, Bright, Salako, Pardew and co. It’s easy to forget that Swansea beat Manchester United in late August – and deservedly so. Their first 11 looks decent, but their squad has been allowed to become almost painfully thin. A new manager must be appointed quickly and given the opportunity to spend in January.”
Last meeting at Selhurst Park
24 May 2015: Crystal Palace 1 Swans 0
Current League Form (Last 6)
Crystal Palace: DWWDWL
Predicted Swans Starting XI:
Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams (Capt), Taylor, Cork, Ki, Ayew, Shelvey, Routledge, Gomis.
At the Bookies
Those of you who fancy a flutter might want to check out the odds being offered on the game at the moment.
It’s not often that Mark Lawrenson and SCFC2 are in agreement, but if you like our prediction of a 1-1 draw then you’ll gets odds of 9/2 at Sky Bet.
If the Swans were to do the almost unthinkable and win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 then you’ll have a fair few quid in your pocket at odds of 100/30.
An outside cheeky bet may be alleged Palace target Jonjo Shelvey being 1st goalscorer at 12/1 – now wouldn’t that be funny!
Let us know your thoughts – whether on the game or the betting odds(!) using the comment box below 🙂