Who doesn’t remember the reverse of this fixture from November? It was a key moment for Bob Bradley as he somehow coached the side into a 5-4 victory over tonight’s hosts Crystal Palace. If anything, it was the beginning of the end for Alan Pardew and now we’ll be travelling to meet Sam Allardyce with Paul Clement no doubt in the stands watching on.
Palace were a very different side in November and injuries have taken their toll since then. There are potentially eight first team players out tonight for the Eagles but that doesn’t stop them fielding a pretty intimidating starting XI that will include Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend.
Closer to home, only Jefferson Montero is injured and will be until next month unfortunately but Jordi Amat is suspended thanks to his antics against Bournemouth. Most media outlets are reporting that Fernando Llorente is doubtful for tonight’s game but no-one can confirm as to why – it is possible that the rumours surrounding his Swansea future are true but it remains to be seen.
SkySports have suggested Llorente picked up a knock against Bournemouth but he didn’t look in too much pain when he was substituted. I could be wrong but I would’ve thought he’d have shaken any complaints off having only played an hour.
To say this game is over before it’s started is cruel and the pundits are doing us a great disservice at the moment. Alan Curtis will likely take charge of the game tonight before Clement takes over formally but that doesn’t mean Palace will walk all over us. Let’s not forget that we beat them earlier in the season and there will be renewed optimism thanks to the confirmed appointment.
I just think pundits are too quick to judge these days, especially when they have no idea what they’re talking about. Bear in mind these are the same group of ‘experts’ who said Zlatan was too old for the Premier League, Aston Villa would be at the top of the Championship by now and that tonight’s opposing manager, Sam Allardyce, would never work again!
Don’t get me wrong, I can predict the future but tonight’s game will be well worth watching if you’re attending or even if you know how to stream the footage. It was a brilliant game last time around and I’m confident it will be this time too.