West Ham United will look to keep their assault on the top six alive when they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League this weekend.
The Hammers have enjoyed a blistering start to the season having not tasted a league defeat since reigning champions Manchester City put five past them on home turf during the opening match.
The Eagles, too, have overseen a resurgence of their own after a poor opening few games, beating Manchester United, Aston Villa and Norwich City en route to their current position in the top half of the table.
Three points could have huge implications for the aspirations of either of these clubs come the end of the season. For Manuel Pellegrini, a win would keep his side firmly in the race for an unlikely top six finish, while victory for Roy Hodgson would blow that race wide open, with the south London club leapfrogging their hosts on matchday 8.
Read on for West Ham vs Crystal Palace predictions, preview, team news and TV coverage information.
When is West Ham vs Crystal Palace and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: London Stadium
Date: Saturday, 5 October 2019
Kick-off: 5:30 PM BST
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Premier League
Last five meetings: West Ham vs Crystal Palace
09 Feb 2019: Crystal Palace 1-1 West Ham (Premier League)
08 Dec 2018: West Ham 3-2 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
30 Jan 2018: West Ham 1-1 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
28 Oct 2017: Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham (Premier League)
14 Jan 2017: West Ham 3-0 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: West Ham (DWDDW) 10-6 Crystal Palace (DLDDL)
Ones to watch
West Ham: Andriy Yarmolenko
When Andriy Yarmolenko suffered a career-threatening Achilles tendon rupture last season, few could have predicted the Ukrainian to have bounced back in the manner he has this campaign. Since fighting his way back into the first-team fold in east London, the former Borussia Dortmund winger has showcased a tremendous amount of flair and potency in front of goal. In the previous four Premier League matches, Yarmolenko has bagged three goals, and that run could stretch if Palace aren’t careful.
Key stat: Andriy Yarmolenko has scored more goals in the Premier League than any other West Ham player this season (3).
Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha
Despite fervent interest across the summer, Crystal Palace managed to keep hold of their star player, and despite some initial teething problems at the start of the season, the talismanic winger is back to his brilliant best, snapping ankles on a weekly basis and just wreaking general havoc on the flanks.
Like Yarmolenko, Zaha has keen eye for goal, but unlike the Ukrainian, Palace’s incisive winger is at his peak when running at full-backs, rather than striking in front of goal. Whoever Pellegrini opts for at left-back, be it Aaron Cresswell or Arthur Masuaku, they will have to bring their A-game.
Key stat: No player has completed more take-ons in the Premier League this season than Wilfried Zaha (32).
The Hammers were dealt a massive blow last weekend with Lukasz Fabianski being ruled out for at least two months with a torn hip muscle after attempting a goal kick against Bournemouth – Roberto Jimenez will deputise in his absence.
Elsewhere, Winston Reid remains out with a persistent knee complication, as does Michail Antonio, who went under the knife on a hamstring injury last month.
Predicted XI: Jimenez; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble, Lanzini, Yarmolenko, Anderson; Haller.
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Hodgson could see Connor Wickham return to a matchday squad for the first time since August having overcome an ankle agitation.
Unfortunately for Palace, Mamadou Sakho is touch-and-go for this Saturday having missed the Norwich victory with a knock, though Hodgson has a number of defensive alternatives to whom he could turn.
Predicted XI: Guaita; Ward, Kelly, Cahill, Van Aanholt; McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate, Zaha, Schlupp; Ayew.
Not only have West Ham looked more threatening in attack this season, but defensively – bar Man City’s rout – they have also improved exponentially since last term. However, that could be about to change with Fabianski now out of the equation. The Pole made more saves than any Premier league ‘keeper in 2018/19 so his influence cannot be downplayed.
Against a less formidable shot-stopper, Hodgson will know that there are goals to be taken this weekend, making this fixture a very close contest indeed.
Scoreline prediction: West Ham 1-1 Crystal Palace