September 11, 2014

Having undergone a painful transition to the Premier League a season ago, Crystal Palace can certainly relate to Burnley's thirst for a first victory since their promotion.

The greater concern for Palace, though, is they too are winless through three matches this season after proving themselves quite the capable side in the closing months of the last campaign.

The top flight's two remaining clubs sitting on one point will meet at Selhurst Park Saturday with fresh Palace manager Neil Warnock welcoming a familiar face back to the club to provide some coaching assistance and possibly a few goals.

The club followed three deadline-day moves to close of the transfer window by signing 33-year-old free agent striker Andrew Johnson, a Palace star from 2002-06, as a player-coach on Sept. 3.

"First and foremost he is here to score goals, and I am sure he will get a chance to do that," Warnock told the club's official website. "I have also invited him to get involved with coaching our strikers."

Greater impact on the pitch might come from a pool of newcomers including defender Zeki Fryers (Tottenham Hotspur), midfielder James McArthur (Wigan Athletic) and forward Kevin Doyle (Wolverhampton).

The Eagles (0-1-2) have already seen a significant contribution from Wilfried Zaha, who returned on loan from Manchester United. The former Eagles academy midfielder rejoined the club for an Aug. 30 match against Newcastle United and had the match's decisive touch on a stoppage-time volley that sent Palace home from St. James' Park with a 3-3 draw.

"I haven't really played too much, so coming off the bench I don't mind because I'm getting my fitness back," said Zaha, a 70th-minute substitute. "But I'm definitely looking forward to starting a few games. I had to make the move here because I wasn't getting minutes on the pitch, so coming back here will definitely push my career forward."

Zaha also happened to be a major part of Palace's last meeting at Selhurst with Burnley during the 2012-13 Championship season. Zaha's brace helped overcome an early two-goal deficit in what ended in a 4-3 Eagles' win on Oct. 6, 2012.

The Clarets avenged the loss three months later, evening a 10-meeting stretch with three wins each and four draws from 2007-13 before Palace's promotion. All six wins in the series came from the home side.

Burnley (0-1-2) could feel plenty capable after a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor with Manchester United on Aug. 30, though the Red Devils also remain winless.

Sean Dyche's team has struggled to produce chances with 256 scoreless minutes since Scott Arfield's 14th-minute goal gave Burnley a brief thrill and lead in their home opener against Chelsea. In all, they've managed six shots on target, which is tied for the league low with Aston Villa.

Against Palace, Dyche could break from selecting the same 11, which he's done in all three matches, after bringing in Hull City winger George Boyd at the beginning of the international break.

The club also secured Chelsea 19-year-old Nathaniel Chalobah and Manchester United 21-year-old Michael Keane on loan, though the youngsters figure to be in an observing role Saturday after just returning from the England under-21 team.

"I want them to get a feel for what we are about and how we operate. It's hard to do that when they just walk through the door," Dyche told the club's official website. "George is a step in front of that. Obviously he has been here for virtually two weeks now and knows a lot more about us and how we operate. He's also a bit more mature as a player, so he has a better chance."

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