Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew still expects West Brom to be difficult to break down in Saturday’s Premier League clash despite Tony Pulis’ men shipping three goals last time out.
West Brom looked to be on their way to a third win in four matches against Everton on Monday as goals from Saido Berahino and Craig Dawson put them 2-0 up.
However, Pulis’ side collapsed in the second half and were undone by former loanee Romelu Lukaku, who scored two goals and set up another to give Everton a 3-2 win.
The nature of that defeat was surprising with West Brom having kept clean sheets in each of their last three league outings.
Pardew, though, is not reading too much into that result and is wary of a team that claimed a 2-0 victory at Selhurst Park in April in last season’s corresponding fixture.
“It is a difficult test for us because Tony knows a good portion of our squad and he knows me well,” Pardew said. “He knows I will try to attack him, and therefore his game plan will be to stop us.
“When you look at his record – 14 clean sheets in 2015 – he’s pretty good at it, so we’ll have to find a way [to break West Brom down].
“Last year they deservedly won here, they stopped us, their game plan was good. Two set play goals, we need to learn from that and get ourselves a victory. They’re very organised and disciplined.
“The whole team has to defend, that’s a requirement under Tony. Therefore the distances between the units are not big, so it’s hard to get through them. They have good knowledge and experienced plays, they are tough.”
Palace are still without Connor Wickham and Joel Ward due to knocks while Mile Jedinak (hamstring) and Damien Delaney (groin) will not feature. Striker Marouane Chamakh has a hamstring injury.
Pulis, who steered Palace away from relegation in 2013-14, has not been helped by injuries to centre halves Jonas Olsson (ankle) and Gareth McAuley (calf).
Despite those issues, captain Darren Fletcher believes West Brom are capable of immediately responding to the loss to Everton.
“There’s always games to bounce back and our away form has been good, so let’s go and try to continue that,” Fletcher told West Brom’s official website.
“We had a good win at Crystal Palace last season. It’s the Premier League, you’ve got to brush off disappointment.
“Confidence is important so we’ll keep level-headed and pick ourselves up quickly and prepare for Palace.”
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