West Ham United Starting XI Prediction vs Crystal Palace

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London rivals West Ham and Crystal Palace face each other on New Year’s Day in the English Premier League.  Both sides head into this one on the back of comprehensive victories. For the Hammers, they snapped a horrible run of form with their 4-1 victory over Watford. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace rebounded back from a thumping at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur to defeat relegation candidates in Norwich City 3-0.

This match will probably mark superstar Declan Rice’s 150th Premier League game for the Irons. He’ll be the youngest player to reach this milestone for the club. He takes the record from his current captain, Mark Noble. Crystal Palace does not enjoy playing on New Year’s Day.

Their solitary top-flight victory on the first day of the year was thirty years ago in 1992, when they defeated Notts County.

Crystal Palace vs West Ham FYIs:

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

WHU Team News: go here

Premier League Preview Podcast: go here

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

Now you have a little historic and current context for the fixture. Let’s see if I can accurately predict the Hammers’ line up in their first fixture of 2022. In goal will be Lukasz Fabianski. 

The Polish shot-stopper is a deft hand and rarely lets the team down with his performances.

Issa Diop and Craig Dawson will play as the center backs. This is because of the lingering effects of the defensive injury crisis David Moyes’ men have endured. Don’t be shocked if the Hammers are in the market for another option in central defense during the January transfer window. 

Vladimir Coufal will line up at right-back, with Ben Johnson lining up on the left. Some people criminally underrate Coufal. West Ham always looks better with him in the side.

Ben Johnson is electrifying to watch and is a star in the making.

Declan Rice will line up to make his aforementioned 150th West Ham Premier League appearance. He will form a deadly defensive midfield duo with Czech Tomas Soucek.

Manuel Lanzini will play in place of the COVID-affected Pablo Fornals. He is capable of a bit of magic in front of goal should Michail Antonio have a bad day at the office.

The attacking three will comprise Said Benrahma on the left, appearing for the last time before jetting off to represent Algeria at the AFCON.

Jarrod Bowen will play to the right of Michail Antonio, who will play through the middle.

These two teams are more closely matched than you may think. That’s why I am going for a score draw in this one.

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  1. Zouma and ogbonna ???

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