The loss to Spurs wasn’t exactly unexpected but given that we would have been worthy winners on the day, the loss hurt even more than it normally would have done.
But that’s now behind us and we need to move forward and get the first points of the season on the board very quickly, starting today away to managerless Crystal Palace.
The fear during the week was Palace appointing a new boss in time to face us this afternoon. Over the year’s we’ve developed a habit of losing to clubs who are welcoming a new manager for their first game in charge. It happened last year against Palace with Tony Pulis and you’d be kidding yourself if you weren’t thinking history was about to repeat itself.
But the whole Malky Mackay revelations means Palace are still without a boss and that gives us the chance to capitalise on what is becoming something of a farce over at Selhurst Park.
We had 18 attempts on goal against Spurs but still struggled to find the net, and that needs to change quickly if we’re going to put fears of another season-long relegation battle to bed early on.
We should see some more of Enner Valencia today, which should boost our goal scoring chances, while fellow new boy Diafra Sakho could also make his debut.
Defensively, we’re very short. Collins’ reckless red card last weekend means Winston Reid is our only established centre-back in the first team. It’s likely that Cheikhou Kouyate will step in alongside him, although we all know that he’s more effective as a defensive midfielder. Will that mean young Reece Burke will be drafted in to deputise and make his Premier League debut for the club? I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case.
We haven’t beaten Palace since October 2003 when we were down in the Championship, so you’ve got to wonder when such a poor run against an average team in London will come to an end.
Today, I feel, is that day.
Verdict: Another tight game, but we’ll be coming home with three points.
Crystal Palace (13th, 0 points)
Defender Scott Dan is doubtful with a hip strain, while Jason Puncheon is suspended.
Adrian Mariappa, Jonny Williams and Jerome Thomas are all fit again and expected to feature.
West Ham United (18th, 0 points)
James Collins is suspended, while fellow defenders James Tomkins, Joey O’Brien and Carl Jenkinson are all injury doubts.
Matt Jarvis is back in training following injury and could feature. Strikers Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho are battling to replace Carlton Cole up front for the Hammers.
Last 10 Meetings
|19 Apr 2014||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||L 1-0|
|3 Dec 2013||Premier League||Selhurst Park||L 1-0|
|25 Feb 2012||Championship||Boleyn Ground||D 0-0|
|1 Oct 2011||Championship||Selhurst Park||D 2-2|
|29 May 2004||Division One Play-Off Final||Millennium Stadium||L 1-0|
|12 Apr 2004||Division 1||Selhurst Park||L 1-0|
|1 Oct 2003||Division 1||Boleyn Ground||W 3-0|
|5 May 1998||Premier League||Selhurst Park||D 3-3|
|3 Dec 1997||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||W 4-1|
|6 May 1995||Premier League||Selhurst Park||L 1-0|
— Scott Laws (@coachlawsy) August 23, 2014
@WestHamWorld 3-1 sakho 2 , noble pen
— SamCamWHUFC (@samcamWHU) August 23, 2014
@WestHamWorld 3-1 West Ham. Valencia, Kouyate & Zarate score. I hope…
— Stutterin’ Stan (@stutterinstan) August 23, 2014
@WestHamWorld 2-1 West ham Valencia to score the winner
— Bailey⚒ (@B_Lloyd98) August 23, 2014
The Match in Numbers
5 – The last five Premier League meetings between these sides have ended in 1-0 wins for Palace.
2 – Palace managed just two shots on goal in their defeat to Arsenal last weekend, which is a divisional low.
23 – West Ham haven’t won at Selhurst Park for 23 years.
4 – Caretaker boss Kieth Millen has taken just four points from the five Premier League games he’s been in charge for.
2 – West Ham haven’t lost their opening two games of the season since their relegation season of 2010/2011.
6 – The Hammers haven’t kept a clean sheet away from home for six games.
18 – West Ham had 18 attempts on goal against Tottenham last weekend, but only four were on target.
Head-to-Head (all competitions)
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||For||Against||GD +/-||Win %|