Crystal Palace welcome Swansea to Selhurst Park today desperately hoping to pick up a victory which will lift them off the foot of the Premier League table.
Whilst Paul Clement’s players were hammered 4-0 at home by Jose’s rampant Manchester United last weekend, they did manage to pick up a valuable away point against Southampton on the opening day of the campaign, putting them in a better frame of mind than the Eagles heading into today’s clash.
After struggling to bring permanent transfers into the club during the early stages of this summer’s transfer window, Frank de Boer is now being forced to navigate today’s game against the Welsh outfit without the services of Wilfried Zaha or Ruben Loftus-Cheek after the latter picked up a groin strain earlier this week.
Given the need to get points on the board, the Dutchman’s choice of formation will be of particular interest for the Eagles faithful heading into the game, with his favoured system of three central defenders having given way to a more traditional back four in midweek against Ipswich, just before James McArthur managed to put away the Tractor Boys with two beautifully taken goals.
Frank admitted in his post-match press conference that the alteration worked wonders for us on the night, leading many to assume that he might plump for a similar thing from the off against our opponents this afternoon.
Whilst McArthur and Cabaye’s return to fitness alleviates the pressure created by Loftus-Cheek’s sudden absence from the squad, we will still need to work out a way of presenting a well-rounded attacking threat without Wilfried Zaha on the pitch; after struggling to create anything like regular chances for Christian Benteke up at Anfield last weekend.
For the neutral, today’s game promises to be genuinely entertaining. For the partisan fan, it’ll be a nail biter regardless of which side of the divide you’re sitting on.