Both Manuel Pellegrini and Roy Hodgson will be happy with the way their teams have started the new season. West Ham sit in fifth place, just one point above Palace, so an away win would mean the Eagles leapfrog the Hammers.
West Ham remain unbeaten since their drubbing away at Manchester City on the opening day of the season, therefore they are arguably the favourites heading into this match. Although they didn’t do enough at The Vitality to beat Bournemouth, their performance showed merit, and the less resolute West Ham side of years gone by would have arguably lost that game.
That being said, the Eagles have flown under the radar this season with a total of 11 points so far, one less than their best ever start to a new season since gaining promotion in 2013. A solid home victory against newly promoted Norwich last weekend means confidence will be running high in the Palace camp, but West Ham promise to be significantly tougher opponents.
In terms of team news, there are some notable absentees for both sides. West Ham’s superb goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański sustained a lengthy injury against Bournemouth, and will miss the game.
For Palace, Luka Milivojevic is suspended after accumulating too many yellow cards. Likewise, Mamadou Sakho is ineligible, due to a short-term injury.
Palace are still yet to win at the London Stadium since West Ham moved there in 2016, but everything could change come 5:30 PM on Saturday. Here is our predicted XI for Palace ahead of the match:
GK - Vicente Guaita
Another clean sheet against Norwich adds to Guaita’s growing collection, and Palace fans would rather no one else between the sticks right now with the form he is showing.
RB - Joel Ward
Ward gave a typically solid performance, not letting Norwich have much joy down his flank, therefore he will retain his place.
CB - Martin Kelly
Martin Kelly came in for the injured Mamadou Sakho and was just as reliable as ever. A crucial block in the first half kept Palace’s clean sheet in tact, and with Sakho still injured, this is an easy decision for Roy.
CB - Gary Cahill
Cahill was most recently voted Palace’s Player of the Month by the fans, and it is easy to see why given his astute performances at the back. He’s been a real coup for Palace and is expected to form the backbone of Palace’s defence again on Saturday.
LB - Patrick van Aanholt
Like Ward, the Dutchman defended better than he did the previous game-week against Wolves. Van Aanholt’s desire to get forward could prove crucial, given West Ham’s expansive home turf.
CM - Cheikhou Kouyate
With Palace’s Serbian skipper suspended, Kouyate will be expected to fill the void in the defensive midfield role. Palace fans will be hoping that their Senegalese midfielder can conjure up some magic against his former side.
CM - James McArthur
Having won the penalty converted by Milivojevic, McArthur’s box to box tenacity will be needed in this game to restrict the amount of space West Ham midfielders may find themselves in.
LM- Jeffrey Schlupp
Roy Hodgson’s utility man, Jeffrey Schlupp, should start to provide van Aanholt with the cover he needs when providing width. We’ve seen van Aanholt struggle without the presence of Schlupp down his side, therefore the Ghanaian international will be vital for the tough away match this promises to be.
RM - Andros Townsend
No one must have been more relieved than Andros Townsend last weekend when he put the game to bed. Having endured a tough start to the season, he will be hoping his goal ignites a hot run of form.
ST - Wilfried Zaha
Palace’s Ivorian talisman was back to his scintillating best against Norwich. His strength and desire on the ball tormented the Norwich defenders, and he provided the magic needed for Palace to kill the game off. If Zaha can replicate that performance again on Saturday, he will be impossible to stop.
ST - Jordan Ayew
Given his purple patch in August, September was a quiet month by Ayew’s standards. He will want to get back amongst the goals on Saturday, given his recent dry patch in front of goal.