Crystal Palace vs Swansea City Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More
Crystal Palace are set to host Swansea City at Selhurst Park this Saturday, as both teams look to get their Premier League campaigns off-and-running.
Neither side have picked up a win thus far this season, making this potential relegation clash crucial, even though it comes just three games into the new campaign.
New Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer has seen his club struggle so far this season. The Eagles will be looking to rebound after suffering back-to-back defeats to start the Premier League campaign, having so far lost to both newly-promoted Huddersfield Town, and Liverpool.
De Boer's team will take on a Swansea City side looking to use their 4-1 Carabao Cup victory over MK Dons to springboard themselves to league success.
The South Wales club have struggled to start the season, being on the back foot in both of their first two fixtures. Whilst they were able to hold on to a goalless draw against Southampton, a dominant Manchester United scored three goals in four minutes to cap off a 4-0 rout of the Welsh club.
Here is all the important information ahead of Satuday's game:
To find the definitive classic between these two sides, you do not have to go too far back.
In what was one of the standout games of 2016-2017, Swansea City and Crystal Palace played out a nine-goal thriller at the Liberty Stadium. Ultimately, it was the home side that emerged victorious, but not without some tremendous scares on the way.
The visitors opened the scoring through a Wilfried Zaha strike after 19 minutes, following a breakdown at the heart of the Swansea defence. Icelandic talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson equalised for the home side, and the teams went into halftime a goal apiece.
It was in the second half that the game really took off.
Leroy Fer scored a quick brace to give the Swans a 3-1 lead, only for Palace to come roaring back, Christian Benteke scoring the away side's fourth in the 84th minute.
It then came down to the hero of the game to take it for the home club. Striker Fernando Llorente scored a scrappy brace from close-in to send the crowd home happy, his second coming deep into added time.
Christian Benteke vs Federico Fernandez and Alfie Mawson
With both sides still yet to score this Premier League campaign, the pressure will be on the forwards to get their team's first goal of the season. One player who has pressure on him in particular is Crystal Palace's star forward, Christian Benteke.
The former Liverpool striker scored 15 league goals last season, and will be looking to open his account for the year against one of the league's weaker defences. Swansea conceded four against Manchester United last week, and the Belgian striker will no doubt be relishing the opportunity to challenge the Swans' defence.
Standing in his way is the centre-back pairing of Federico Fernandez, and Alfie Mawson. Both are a reliable presence at the back, and Mawson in particular has potential for the future. However, they will have to be at their best to handle the skilled Belgian striker.
Heading into the game, Swansea City will be without key striker Fernando Llorente, who is still out with a broken arm sustained in preseason. Nathan Dyer, Jefferson Montero, and Ki Sung-yueng all remain out with long-term injuries, whilst defender Kyle Bartley is set to miss two months following his injury in Swansea's 4-1 Carabao Cup victory over MK Dons.
Crystal Palace are also missing key players, including Wilfried Zaha, and Bakary Sako. Defensive midfielder Luka Milivojevic is suspended from the game, and will be able to return against Burnley.
Potential Crystal Palace Lineup: Hennessey, Ward, Kelly, Sclupp, Riedewald, McArthur, Puncheon, Van Aanholt, Cabaye, Townsend, Benteke
Potential Swansea City Lineup: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Mesa, Fer, Carroll, Routledge, Abraham, Ayew
Neither side has been able to get their season off to a bright start, making this game all-the-more important. Whilst Swansea may be ahead in the table right now, Saturday's clash will likely be a home victory for Crystal Palace.
With Fernando Llorente out, Swansea lack the firepower needed to be dangerous on the offensive end, whilst Christian Benteke will present an enormous challenge for the Swansea back four.
The game will undoubtedly be close, but should be a home win for the Eagles.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Swansea City