Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Prediction: Swansea vs Crystal Palace

Verdict: Crystal Palace win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 9/2

Bookmaker: Bet365

After coming away empty-handed against Everton last Monday, Swansea will now begin life after Paul Clement. With only one win in their last 10 top-flight appearances, the Swans will welcome a revitalized Crystal Palace side who are aiming for a third win on the bounce on Saturday afternoon.


After picking up only four points out of a possible 30, Swansea’s 3-1 defeat away at Everton in midweek saw an end to Paul Clement’s tenure at the Liberty Stadium. Now planted bottom of the table and three points adrift of Premier League safety, former Swans midfielder Leon Britton will take charge for Palace’s arrival on Saturday afternoon. For the struggling Swans, their major problem this year has been their issues in front of goal. With the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente leaving last summer, Swansea have been drastically short of striking options. Although the Welsh side may have brought back Wilfred Bony and Tammy Abraham, no team has scored few goals than Swansea this year. In fact, the managerless Swans have only found the net five times in their last 10 appearances.

If Swansea stand any chance of mounting a late charge to Premier League safety, they will have to improve on their form at the Liberty Stadium. Losing six of their nine home matches this year, in four of those defeats, Swansea have also failed to register a single goal in return. Although Swansea appear to be a side destined for Championship football come May, the Swans do boast an impressive record against their South London opponents. Swansea have only lost once to Crystal Palace in the clubs history and are also unbeaten in their last five Premier League games against them, their dramatic 5-4 victory last season means they have won the last three matchups.

Team News

Swansea caretaker boss Leon Britton has confirmed that Ivory Coast international Wilfred Bony will miss Saturday’s match. After limping off with a hamstring injury on Monday night, the former City striker will be out for between 7-10 days.

Britton is also with defender Kyle Bartley (knee) but could welcome Wayne Routledge and Ki Sung-yueng back into the squad following their recent absences through muscular injuries.

Crystal Palace

After losing their first seven games of the season, Palace almost looked a certainty for the drop. However, former England boss Roy Hodgson has drastically turned the Eagles form around and Palace have now climbed to 14th in the table, three points above the relegation zone. Now unbeaten in their last seven appearances, Hodgson’s side have not lost since a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham at the start of November. The Eagles managed to secure a 3-0 win away at Leicester last weekend, epitomising Palace’s recent turnaround. Until last weekend, Palace had not managed to pick up three points away from Selhurst Park, they had not even managed to find the net in any of those outings. However, Hodgson’s side are now unbeaten in their past three away matches after drawing 0-0 at both West Brom and Brighton.

A key factor in Palace’s recent revival has been there never die attitude. No team in the Premier League has scored more late goals than Palace this year with three of forward Bakary Sako’s four goals this campaign coming in the 87th minute or later. For Palace, their star man this year has undoubtedly been winger Wilfred Zaha. With the Eagles losing all eight games that Zaha hasn’t appeared in, with four Premier League goals so far, Palace will know the importance of keeping him in South London come January. Ahead of a Christmas run in that will see them face off with Arsenal and Manchester City, Palace will want to continue their impressive spell of taking points off the teams around them.

Team News

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke is suspended for the Premier League clash with Swansea after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 3-0 win over Leicester. Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Jason Puncheon is available for selection despite being charged with possession of an offensive weapon and assault.

Midfielder Luka Milivojevic returns from suspension but Joel Ward is still unavailable due to a groin problem.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Swansea are unbeaten in five league games against Palace and have won each of the last three.
  • There were 12 goals scored between these sides in league matches last season, the most of any Premier League fixture in 2016-17.
  • The Swans have only scored 10 goals, three fewer than any other side in the top flight.
  • The Eagles are unbeaten in seven matches, which is a Premier League club record.
  • Palace recorded their first away goals and victory of the season last weekend at Leicester.


For Roy Hodgson’s revitalized Crystal Palace side, they will travel to south Wales filled with confidence. Looking to make it three successive wins on Saturday afternoon, Palace have also found a fine run of form in front of goal recently. Finding the net seven times in their last three outings, Zaha and co should certainly cause problems for a Swansea side who have only kept two clean sheets in their last 12 appearances.

Verdict: Crystal Palace win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 9/2

Bookmaker: Bet365


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan



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