Crystal Palace raised some eyebrows with a fantastic 3-2 victory over the current Premier League champions, Manchester City, last Saturday. However, complacency is a real threat after beating the best, and the London side will need to keep a cool head as they welcome Cardiff City to Selhurst Park.
Cardiff sit 17th after suffering a heavy 5-1 defeat to Manchester United. They have four defeats in their last six games, but still sit two points clear of Burnley in the relegation zone. This is the type of game where Cardiff manager, Neil Warnock, will need to eye up away points if they want to move away from the drop zone below.
Here's a look at 90min's preview for the fixture.
How to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Wednesday 26th December|
|What Time is Kick Off?||15:00 GMT|
|Where is it Played?||Selhurst Park|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Final Score|
Crystal Palace will be without their number one goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey, who is still out with a back injury. Christian Benteke is still out with long-term knee troubles, Cheikhou Kouyate and Martin Kelly are both doubtful after picking up knocks against Manchester City and will face a fitness test.
Cardiff have several players returning to fitness following injury, just in time to boost their squad before the January transfer window opens. Both Jazz Richards and Danny Ward could feature, but it is unlikely they will play a significant role with both severely lacking match fitness.
Joe Bennett is also a doubt following a knock he picked up against Watford, and he will face a late fitness test to determine whether he will play.
Predicted Line Ups
|Crystal Palace||Guaita, van-Aanholt, Sakho, Tomkins, Wan-Bissaka, McArthur, Milivojevic, Schlupp, Meyer, Townsend, Zaha|
|Cardiff City||Etheridge, Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Cunnigham, Gunnarsson, Hoilett, Camarasa, Arter, Murphy, Paterson|
Head to Head Record
The sides play each other for the first time since 2014, when Crystal Palace ran out 3-0 winners. The London side boast a good record against the visiting Bluebirds, having won 32 games against them. Cardiff have won just 16, whilst 19 have ended in a draw.
The most recent ten fixtures have produced a fairly even spread of results, with Palace winning five and Cardiff winning four. One result ended in a scoreless draw. The two sides have only met twice in the Premier League, with both games coming in the 2013/14 season. Crystal Palace won both games with an aggregate score 5-0.
Palace come into the game soaring with confidence after a stunning display saw them beat the current Premier League champions Manchester City. City were unbeaten up until that point in the Premier League, with the win giving Eagles fans an unexpected Christmas present. Crystal Palace sit in 14th, six points above the drop, chasing down the mid-table sides after two consecutive wins against higher-placed opposition.
Cardiff City have struggled in their last six games having lost four of them, but they still sit out of the relegation zone. With 38 goals conceded this term, they boast the second worst defensive record in the league, but they do average a record of a goal a game.
Here's a look at both sides most recent fixtures:
|Crystal Palace||Cardiff City|
|Manchester City 2-3 Crystal Palace (22/12)||Cardiff 1-5 Manchester United (22/12)|
|Crystal Palace 1-0 Leicester City (15/12)||Watford 3-2 Cardiff (15/12)|
|West Ham 3-2 Crystal Palace (08/12)||Cardiff 1-0 Southampton (08/12)|
|Brighton 3-1 Crystal Palace (04/12)||West Ham 3-1 Cardiff (04/12)|
|Crystal Palace 2-0 Burnley (01/12)||Cardiff 2-1 Wolves (30/11)|
Crystal Palace come into the game as the side in better form, having won their last two. However, after a win over the top side in the country, they need to ensure they don't underestimate their visitors. Palace have found their goal-scoring touch of late after struggling to score earlier in the season, with seven goals in their last four games.
Cardiff suffered a heavy loss at the hands of Manchester United and will be looking to bounce back against a side that sit just three places above them in the league. Neil Warnock will look at this as an away fixture that the Bluebirds can come out of with points.
However, the home side look to have too much attacking strength for Cardiff, with players coming to form at the right time.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-0 Cardiff City