West Brom vs Crystal Palace Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battles, Team News & More

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Alan Pardew's first game as West Brom boss sees his former side Crystal Palace travel to the Hawthorns as they continue their battle to climb off the foot of the table, but will have to go some lengths to rejuvenate his Baggies after they threw away a 2-0 lead to Newcastle on Tuesday. 

Roy Hodgson, however, has his men in decent form and the Eagles are unbeaten in their last three games. A solid 0-0 draw at the Amex against fierce rivals Brighton on Tuesday saw Palace record their first league clean sheet of the season, allowing them a platform to build on as they embark on a season defining run of fixtures. 

This Saturday's spectacle is a tough one to predict, as both sides can be solid on their day but are also susceptible to an error, so a tense affair may be in the offing. 

Here's everything you need to know ahead of this weekend's bottom of the table clash... 

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Classic Encounter


West Brom 3-2 Crystal Palace

Newly appointed Baggies boss Alan Pardew will be hoping his West Brom side can replicate their first half performance against the Eagles from 2016 this Saturday. 

Tony Pulis' men took a 3-0 lead after half an hour in this fixture at the Hawthorns back in the 2015/16 season, with Craig Gardner, Craig Dawson and Saido Berahino all scoring to give the home side a commanding lead at the break. 

Connor Wickham got the Eagles back in the game straight after the restart with a composed lob, before his explosive half volley into the top right corner gave Alan Pardew's Palace a real chance to salvage a result. 

Scott Dann had a header cleared off the line late on, resigning the Eagles to a winless streak stretching all of 10 games, and Roy Hodgson will not want to see a repeat of the first half performance from his men when this fixture rolls around on Saturday. 

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Key Battle

Salomon Rondon vs Mamadou Sakho


Despite not being a prolific striker, West Brom's Venezuelan powerhouse Salomon Rondon is a handful for any defender in the league physically.

His recent goal against Spurs saw him shoulder barge Davinson Sanchez off the ball before slotting home, with the Colombian defender a force to be reckoned with himself. 

Palace's £26m man Mamadou Sakho has been in imperious form himself since being handed the captain's armband by Roy Hodgson, with his two games as captain seeing him score a 92nd minute winner against Stoke as well as winning the Man of the Match award for a solid display away at Brighton. 

Sakho is sure to have his hands full coping with Rondon, and their physical battle will be an intriguing one and is sure to have an impact on the result at full-time. 

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Team News


Roy Hodgson refused to address any injury problems in his press conference on Thursday afternoon, instead saying that his players will have to be examined tomorrow as they feel the effects of three games in a week. 

Christian Benteke is now fully fit and expected to start, whilst Connor Wickham remains out as he continues to recover from a knee ligament injury sustained almost a year ago. Lee Chung-Yong and Patrick van Aanholt are close to full fitness, whilst Jordon Mutch remains absent. 

For the Baggies, Craig Dawson, Nacer Chadli and James Morrison are definite absentees, whilst Chris Brunt may be in contention after a calf complaint that ruled him out of the draws against Newcastle and Spurs. 

Matty Phillips and Kieran Gibbs are also doubtful having suffered hamstring niggles on Tuesday night against the Magpies. 

Potential West Brom Lineup: Foster, Nyom, Hegazi, Evans, McAuley, Livermore, Field, Barry, McClean, Robson-Kanu, Rondon

Potential Crystal Palace Lineup: Hennessey, Ward, Tomkins, Sakho, Schlupp, Cabaye, Loftus-Cheek, Milivojevic, Townsend, Benteke, Zaha

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Alan Pardew has the irritatingly consistent ability to rejuvenate sides, giving them the confidence and belief needed to win Premier League games. 

It is only when a club allows him to get his feet under the table that he starts to make things rotten, but that isn't of Palace's concern for this weekend at least. 

Roy Hodgson should be wary of an inspired Baggies side looking to impress their new boss, but he is experienced enough to stick to his own game plan and not be distracted by the opposition's circumstances - it should be noted that Hodgson will also be returning to an old side. 

An entertaining but tense affair may be on the cards this Saturday, and a win for the Eagles would see them level on points with West Brom, so this encounter really is a crucial clash for the Premier League's basement teams. 

Prediction: West Brom 2-2 Crystal Palace