On the back of a turbulent week – both on and off the pitch – Burnley travel down to the capital tomorrow to take on in-form Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Burnley v Crystal Palace
3.00pm – Selhurst Park – nPower Championship
Referee: Roger East [34 Yellows – 2 Reds]
Surrendering leads in our past two fixtures could force Eddie Howe to tinker with his starting line up in the hope of shoring up our leaky defence.
Eddie will be hoping he can call upon Jason Shackell who has recently been sidelined with a knee injury and the captain will once again face a late fitness test.
Fellow centre-back Michael Duff is expected to miss out with a knee injury picked up during Tuesday’s game meaning Joseph Mills could come back in with Ben Mee moving inside.
Danny Ings is still a few weeks away from a realistic return to first team action.
Palace should have Kagisho Dikgacoi available for selection after the South African international was rested midweek in an attempt to fully recover from a slight muscle strain.
Peter Ramage and Danny Gabbidon are both expected to miss out as they try to regain match fitness while fellow defender Paddy McCarthy is a long-term absentee.
Manager: Dougie Freedman
Dougie Freedman is already embedded in Palace folklore after scoring over 100 goals during his ten year playing career with the Eagles. The legendary striker took over the Palace reigns from George Burley in 2011 and helped steer the club clear of relegation. Last season’s impressive run to the Carling Cup semi-finals – despite being on a limited budget – has shown that the Scotsman has the required skills to help the club progress.
Despite starting sluggishly, Palace have since steadily begun to build some momentum in recent weeks and come into this game as the Championship’s in-form team. The Eagles have impressively picked up maximum points against Bolton, Charlton and more recently Cardiff – despite trailing 2-0. Tuesday’s victory over Wolves at Molineux extended Palace’s unbeaten run to six games and helped them rise to seventh in the table.
Dangerman: Wilfried Zaha
Highly rated Wilfried Zaha will provide the main threat for Palace tomorrow as the winger looks to build on his impressive early season form. The England Under-21 international’s blistering pace and tricky footwork has constantly troubled Championship defences and as a result earned several admiring glances from top-flight scouts. For now at least though, Zaha remains Freedman’s most prized possession as the Ivorian-born forward looks to hone his skills at Selhurst Park.
Just For Fun
Did You Know?
Surprisingly, Palace haven’t always played in the blue and red stripes affiliated with the club today. It was former manager Malcolm Allison’s desire for a Barcelona style kit and a Benfica style badge which led to a total re-branding of the club in 1973.