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.

Team News

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 2014Premier LeagueBoleyn GroundL 1-0
3 Dec 2013Premier LeagueSelhurst ParkL 1-0
25 Feb 2012ChampionshipBoleyn GroundD 0-0
1 Oct 2011ChampionshipSelhurst ParkD 2-2
29 May 2004Division One Play-Off FinalMillennium StadiumL 1-0
12 Apr 2004Division 1Selhurst ParkL 1-0
1 Oct 2003Division 1Boleyn GroundW 3-0
5 May 1998Premier LeagueSelhurst ParkD 3-3
3 Dec 1997Premier LeagueBoleyn GroundW 4-1
6 May 1995Premier LeagueSelhurst ParkL 1-0

Fan Predictions



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)

PlayedWonDrawnLostForAgainstGD +/-Win %