After our usual away game each season trip to Vicarage Road to collect our point in the usual draw (four in a row), the Cherries are back home at Dean Court for our next game. The visitors to Dean Court are Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace. Palace come to Dean Court needing to get points as they battle to stay out of the relegation zone. The Cherries if they win reach the’magical’ 40 points.
In the January transfer window Palace brought in three players. Striker Alexander Sorloth, the Norwegian joins from Danish club FC Midtjylland for an undisclosed fee. Polish Defender Jaroslaw Jach from Zaglebie Lubin, again an undisclosed fee. They also signed Swedish midfield player Erdal Rakip on loan from Benfica until the end of the season.
After our last meeting back in December, the Premier League table after 16 games had Crystal Palace bottom on 11 points, then Swansea on 12 points, followed by West Ham in 18th place on 13 points. The present Premier League Table has West Brom bottom after 32 games on 20 points *(17th on 13 points}, next Stoke City on 27 points (15th on 16 points) and in 18th place Southampton having played a game less after 16 & 32 games on 28 points (12th on 17 points). *After 16 games, Saints 15 games). Crystal Palace after 32 games are in 17th place on 30 points and AFCB are in 10th place on 37 points (after 16 games 14th on 16 points). Interesting the change of fortunes, especially Saints.
In January away from home Crystal Palace beat Saints 1-2, lost to Arsenal 4-1 and drew with West Ham 1-1. February lost at Everton 3-1. March lost at Chelsea 2-1, beat Huddersfield Town 0-2.
At home in January Palace beat Burnley 1-0, February they drew with Newcastle 1-1 and lost to Spurs 0-1. March they lost to Manchester United 2-3 and also lost to Liverpool 1-2 in their last game.
In our Premier League meetings at home against Palace in the 2015-16 season ended 0-0, away 1-2, 2016-17 ended 0-2, away 1-1 and 2017-18 at Selhurst Park ended 2-2. Jermain Defoe gave us the lead after 10 minutes, then 3 goals in a space of 7 minutes as half-time approached. First after 41 minutes Milivojevic equalised from the spot after a foul on Zaha and 3 minutes later Scott Dann put Palace in front, that wasn’t the end of the action as with 3 minutes into injury time Jermain Defoe scored the goal of the game with a superb half-volley that gave the keeper no chance. There were no more goals in the second half, but in injury time Palace were awarded a penalty, instead of the usual penalty taker, Benteke decided he would take it and his weak effort was saved by Asmir Begovic.
In all league home games, AFCB have won 21, drawn 9 and lost 4. In all league games, AFCB have 28, drawn 18 and lost 23. We have never met in the Cup.
AFCB Team News
Lys Mousset has been ill, Simon Francis hopefully will be back. Adam Smith has an MCL knee ligament injury and according to www.physioroom.com is expected to return on the 18th April. Junior Stanislas with a knee injury no return date yet.
AFCB Player To Watch
Think Eddie might make a change and bring Jermain Defoe in for a start, Callum Wilson has been struggling for goals and Josh King hasn’t been on top of his game. So will choose Jermain as he is looking sharp again.
Crystal Palace Team News
Injuries to a number of players, Connor Wickham has a groin strain, Jeff Schlupp has an ankle injury Joel Ward has a muscle injury, Scott Dann has an ACL knee injury, Jason Puncheon has a PCL tear and Bakery Sako has a broken ankle (out until next season). All listed on injury site as no return date. Players who could be available are James Tomkins with a calf muscle strain, Alexander Sorloth hamstring injury, Julian Speroni knee injury.
Crystal Palace Player To Watch
The main danger is Wilfried Zaha who is always a dangerous and tricky player. Has scored 4 goals and has 2 assists, those 4 goals and 1 of his assists have come from him playing a forward central role. Christian Benteke has been their main striker owing to injuries. He missed two good chances against Liverpool, but is always a danger, has 2 goals and 5 assists.