West Ham United Team News vs Crystal Palace: Fornals, Cresswell, Zouma, Rice

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West Ham takes the quick trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace in their New Year’s fixture. After a horrible run of matches where they failed to take all three points from any of the encounters, the Hammers finally got back in the winner’s books, with a 4-1 victory over Watford in their last fixture of 2021. Their opponents, Crystal Palace, also come into this match on the back of a victory, having dispatched Norwich City 3-0 in their last fixture.

Incredibly, in the last nine fixtures between these two sides, both teams have scored. That makes this fixture the fourth longest-running streak of matches where both teams score. It doesn’t stop there. In a weird quirk, the side that scores first has won none of the aforementioned nine matches. Strange.

Crystal Palace vs West Ham FYIs

Kick-off time: 3 PM GMT, 1st January 2022

Starting XI Prediction: go here

Premier League Preview Podcast: go here

Form Guide (All Competitions): Crystal Palace (WD*LW) West Ham (L*LLW)

Let’s have a look at the team news for the Hammers for this one.

Pablo Fornals is out after testing positive for the coronavirus. The Spaniard had experienced a dip in form recently and will be unhappy to not be able to make amends immediately. Hopefully, he returns soon and can recapture his early-season form when he does.

Aaron Cresswell and Angelo Ogbonna remain long-term injury absentees. Cresswell’s innocuous collision with the goal post has done some severe damage to his back. He has been nowhere near the first team since the incident occurred. Ogbonna is out after having surgery to repair damage to his ACL.

Kurt Zouma’s return is rapidly approaching. Not rapidly enough to feature here, but they expect him to return to the starting lineup this month.

Declan Rice will definitely return to the fold for this one. He missed the Hammers last fixture after serving a suspension for accumulating 5 yellow cards so far this season.

Although his side won their last fixture, his return will be a welcome one. Declan Rice is one of the best players in his position in European football at the moment.

This one is a hard match to predict. As much as I’d like to say, West Ham turned a corner by snapping their losing streak. I am not convinced they have. Crystal Palace will be stiff opposition and I am going with a score draw. 2-2.

Comments

  1. James Wallis says

    It’s actually a 5:30pm kick off.

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