Crystal Palace’s Serbian midfielder Luka Milivojevic reacts after failing to score during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Crystal Palace at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on December 4, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Crystal Palace face West Ham on Saturday afternoon at the London Stadium. The Eagles are desperate for a win, with just one victory in their last ten games. They’re lingering dangerously close to the foot of the table, just three points off bottom side Fulham. Three points on Saturday may prove vital for Roy Hodgson as he may be looking to save his job.

The form book of the two sides is very contrasting. The Hammers have only lost one of their last five league games, that being a 4-0 loss to Manchester City. Wins against Burnley, Newcastle and Cardiff have kept them away from the bottom of the table. It also means that they lie six points ahead of their visitors in 13th, and only three points off of the top half.

In contrast, Roy Hodgson and Palace are in dire straits. One in their last ten has meant some Palace fans are calling for Hodgson to be sacked. A win against Burnley could have been the turning point for the season. However, a 3-1 loss to rivals Brighton put a firm dagger in the wound. With a difficult Christmas period, they are in desperate need for another win.

Likely Line-Ups

The home side will be without key man Marko Arnautovic after being ruled out for a month with a hamstring injury. Elsewhere, Lucas Perez may join Javier Hernandez in a front two. The Spaniard scored two goals in the victory over Cardiff. Pablo Zabaleta and Fabian Balbuena may also return to the starting line-up. The pair have been out injured.

It is likely to be an unchanged team for the fourth consecutive game for Palace. The limited striking options are highlighted in the way they play. Jordan Ayew and Alexander Sorloth have not hit the ground running since their moves to Selhurst Park, meaning Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend start up front. Hodgson will be hoping his defence returns to its relative consistency. The Eagles have conceded just 20 goals in 15 games this season.

Verdict

With West Ham heading in a good run of form, a Hammers win is likely at the London Stadium. Despite two of their three wins coming away from home, Palace are in a horrific run of form.

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