Prediction: Crystal Palace to win 1-0
Crystal Palace will look to edge closer to Premier League survival on Saturday as they travel to the King Power Stadium to take on struggling Leicester City.
The Eagles currently sit in 13th position in the league standings but are only three points above the drop zone so a victory in the East Midlands could go a long way in seeing them secure their position in the top-flight. Elsewhere, Leicester’s pursuit of European football has taken a huge blow in recent weeks and they are only one point above Palace, albeit five points better off, so a win for the Foxes could be the perfect tonic for their recent downturn in fortunes.
Claude Puel’s Foxes come into the match against Palace having only claimed one victory in 2019 so far and that came on New Year’s Day against Everton. In the time since, they have embarked on a run of six games without a win in all competitions, with the only point coming in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool. As a matter of fact, Leicester have not gone seven matches without victory since March 2013. They did manage to put in a valiant effort against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley last time out and should really have earned something from the game but were eventually defeated 3-1.
Leicester’s form at the King Power Stadium is one of the main reasons that they have struggled this campaign. They have only won four Premier League games on home soil all season, losing their last three games in a row. Leicester have not lost four home Premier League games in a row since the 1999/00 season.
Puel has a few significant injury concerns heading into the game. According to the Frenchman, James Maddison and Ben Chilwell picked up knocks in training so will be subjected to late fitness tests. Namplays Mendy is ready to return after being withdrawn before the match against Tottenham. Daniel Amartey is getting closer to a return but is not expected to be back until March, whilst Marc Albrighton is likely to miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury.
Despite Palace only being marginally clear of the relegation zone, they appear to have found form at just the right time. They are undefeated in their last five matches in all competitions and have managed to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Despite that promising run of form, Roy Hodgson’s men have only claimed one win in their last five Premier League games despite playing the likes of Southampton, Watford and West Ham United within that time. One aspect that has let them down this season has been their goal-scoring. Only four sides in the entire top-flight have scored less than the Eagles this campaign. Should they rectify that then they should be in a fantastic position to stay up considering their defensive record has actually been respectable with only 34 goals shipped in 26 games.
Striker Connor Wickham is a major doubt ahead of the game having suffered a knock. Goalkeeper Julian Speroni has injured his thigh so is also ruled out. He is joined on the sidelines by Pape Souare who is not expected to return until March after dislocating his shoulder. Defenders Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Martin Kelly are both out. Wilfried Zaha is able to return to action after serving suspension against Doncaster Rovers.
Key Facts To Consider
- The two teams come into the clash with an even all-time record (W26, D18, L26)
- Crystal Palace won the previous game between the two teams earlier this season 1-0
- Roy Hodgson has never lost against Leicester City as a manager with Blackburn Rovers, Fulham and Crystal Palace
- The Foxes have not scored against Crystal Palace in their last three games
- Former Fox Jeffrey Schlupp has scored five goals this campaign, the first time he has done that in a single season since 2011/12
Considering the positions of both sides in the Premier League this season, supporters could potentially expect an open game at the King Power Stadium. Both Puel and Hodgson’s troops will be desperate to win. Nonetheless, both teams have struggled for goals this season so the first goal in the East Midlands could potentially be crucial. It would not be a shock to see Crystal Palace claim a 1-0 win.
Prediction: Crystal Palace to win 1-0
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