Thursday 24 August 2017

Crystal Palace v Swans Preview (26/8/17)

Last Saturday? Nope, I don't remember anything of note happening. Absolutely nothing.

It's all about this Saturday. The Swans travel to lovely Croydon once again to face Crystal Palace. It's been a place of reasonable joy for the last few years for the Jack Army. Two wins out of four and just one loss with nothing on the line back in 2015.

Last season's two games against Palace saw 12 goals fired in - 7 of them from the Swans! The 5-4 epic under Bob Bradley was probably the most exhilarating game since the Premier League return, while the 2-1 smash and grab under Clement saw the absolute top boy Angel Rangel bag a late winner and create scenes in the away end.

Same again this season would go down a treat. Fernando Llorente came off the bench to terrorise Alan Pardew's lot at the Liberty last season and he could be back for the weekend. A potent lack of goal threat has been obvious in the first two games and, even though confidence is higher from midweek's EFL Cup cracker, the Spanish international would boost attacking credentials.

Kyle Bartley and Ki-Sung Yueng are missing for the Swans, though their significance is nothing compared to Palace missing influential winger Wilfried Zaha and centre back Jairo Riedewald. New £16.5m signing Sam Clucas could feature in the Swans side and his energy and workrate will breathe new life into a lifeless midfield. Roque Mesa looked pretty bright on his debut and should start again here, though he has a lot more to offer.

Palace have operated with three at the back under new boss Frank de Boer and haven't looked entirely comfortable, creating nothing against Liverpool and looking vulnerable in their loss to Huddersfield. Swans will likely revert to four at the back at the Selhurst Park.

Both sides have yet to score in the league this season, but the 15th place and 18th place sides will know that this is a huge opportunity here. Swans record against Palace bodes well, while Clement has had time to adapt and learn how to take points in crucial games - de Boer hasn't yet.

The backline will get flak for letting in three late goals against Man United (fine, we're accepting that it happened), but it was pretty tight before the subs were made and the capitulation took place. Swans have four wins out of the last six competitive matches and only conceded two in the five that weren't against Man United...

The 16/5 for the Jack Army to take the three points here is top when you consider Huddersfield's efforts here. A repeat of the 2-1 win from last season is 16/1 with Winner Sports - why not eh?

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