Swansea City-Crystal Palace Preview
Swansea City looked to be flying off the rails at breakneck speed, but their Boxing Day win over West Bromwich Albion may have slammed the brakes on that runaway train and possibly saved the club's Premier League lives ahead of their match Monday at Crystal Palace.
The Welsh side (4-6-8) entered the contest against West Bromwich Albion winless in seven league matches (0-2-5), but their fortunes changed temporarily when Ki Sung-Yueng struck in the ninth minute to give Swansea three points the desperately needed.
The victory moved the Swans out of the relegation zone and into 16th place with 18 points, but they'll need to string together more positive results if they want to avoid the drop in May.
Caretaker manager Alan Curtis believes the win could be a turning point for the club's season.
"You hope it would be but you quickly come down to earth, we've got Palace on Monday and then Manchester United next week," Curtis said. "Whoever comes in has to be the right choice and if it takes a little bit longer - we've just got to be cautious with who we bring in."
"It has to be the right man and if we delay it a little bit longer then so be it. You carry on for as long as the club wait to bring someone in," Curtis continued, addressing the club's possible plans for the January transfer window." We've got to show that (other side) at all times. The situation we're in isn't going to go away unless we put together a string of wins.
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has seen his Eagles (9-6-3) soar to fifth place in the table and extend their unbeaten streak in league play to five games (3-2-0) following a scoreless draw Boxing Day at Bournemouth.
The task against the Swans, though, grew a bit taller as the club will be without Connor Wickham and Yannick Bolasie, while Bakary Sako, Dwight Gayle, Scott Dann and Damien Delaney are all doubtful to face the Swans.
Pardew acknowledged his squad is a bit thin heading into Monday.
The work-rate (on Saturday) from both sides was terrific and the levels we played at - we're both going to suffer in two days' time because of that game," Pardew said." We're hoping Patrick Bamford recovers a little bit because we lacked the chance for him to play with the injury on Friday. "We'll have to wait and see how he is but I don't think anyone else is close. We're pretty thin at the moment but that's part and parcel of the game. You get periods like this."
Crystal Palace have won only one of their last eight matches against Swansea (1-4-3), while the Swans have won three of their last four league trips to play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park (3-0-1). The Eagles, though, recorded a 1-0 victory in last season's corresponding fixture on a 57th-minute goal by Marouane Chamakh.
The Swans have also won only one of their last ten trips to London in league play (1-6-3).