West Brom vs. Crystal Palace: A Palace Preview

It is in adversity that a team shows its true colours...
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West Brom vs. Crystal Palace: A Palace Preview

A few weeks ago this would have been a fixture that we would have looked forward to with some confidence. But things have changed as Palace’s post-Warnock bounce has petered out with a couple of defeats on the trot and significantly we have sustained a couple of injuries that look like depriving us of the services of Dann, arguably last season’s most important signing and McArthur, arguably this season’s most important signing. With a threadbare squad further decimated by the loss of Damien Delaney from suspension things are not looking too clever all of a sudden.

Added to this, West Brom have recovered from a stuttering start, to show signs of being resolute opposition with Berahino looking dangerous and scoring goals to such an extent that he is being touted as the next England centre forward. (Just a quick aside: Isn’t it quite bizarre how as soon as an English youngster scores a few goals they suddenly become the next Rooney – a sign of how desperate the national team have become). Last Monday they were unlucky not to beat Man United and Alan Irvine seems to have got his team in a good place.

After being outclassed by Chelsea and soundly beaten by Hull in last two weeks, Palace need to lick their wounds and get themselves up for a key match. They need to prove they can grind out a result and regain some of the momentum from the first four Warnock games otherwise a long, cruel winter beckons. And the conundrum that is Zaha should maybe have a chance to prove his doubters wrong. Wilf certainly made a difference when coming on against Chelsea so let’s unleash him this weekend.

Having been to the FA Cup victory at the Hawthorns back in January the most memorable aspects of that game were that Gayle is a proven goal scorer and Chamakh is our most threatening player but neither have been starting recently and maybe this is time to bring them back into the fold. Having said that Warnock is not a manager to make wholesale changes so we can probably expect Campbell to start and after all he is our leading goal scorer.

So we head to West Brom with a certain sense of trepidation and weaker than we have in a while but it is in adversity that a team shows its true colours. Hopefully we will be painting the West Midlands red and blue on Saturday.

Richard’s book The A-Z of Football Hates is out now.

Follow him @rcfoster and @AZFootballHates