West Ham United-Crystal Palace Preview
While Crystal Palace find themselves in the top four of the Premier League table, West Ham United aren’t too far behind.
Yet to lose away from home this season, the Hammers look to continue their strong road form and perhaps overtake Palace in the standings Saturday at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace (5-0-3) are off to their best start to a Premier League season while sitting fourth in the table, tied with Leicester City and three points behind league-leading Manchester City. The Eagles, however, remain cautiously optimistic as they resume league play following last week’s international break.
"We know it’s early in the season," midfielder Yannick Bolasie told Palace’s official website. "We just have to take things game by game and see where we go.
"The competition is fierce, there’s a lot of players wanting to come in and impress the boss so everyone has to be on their toes."
The Eagles, who didn’t earn their sixth win last season until Feb. 7, look for a season-high third straight victory after outscoring Watford and West Bromwich Albion 3-0 in the last two matches.
However, this test doesn’t expect to be an easy one for Palace, who are 2-0-2 at home.
Though Crystal Palace have won three of their last four fixtures against West Ham (4-2-2), the Hammers’ lone win during that stretch came 3-1 at Selhurst Park last season. It’s West Ham’s only victory in five games over all competitions at Palace.
"(Crystal Palace) have done really well this season and they will be a hard team to beat away from home," West Ham midfielder Victor Moses, who began his career with the Eagles, told his club’s official website.
"We are working hard in training to make sure we go there and get the three points.
Considering their own strong start, Moses and the Hammers should have the confidence to make that happen.
Sixth in the table and one point behind Crystal Palace, West Ham are 3-2-0 since losing consecutive home contests to Leicester and Bournemouth. Their 17 goals are second-most in the league and their nine on the road are the most while going a league-best 3-1-0. Those victories came against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.
West Ham won only four road matches in Premier League play last season.
"I believe in the team and we have a good manager," Moses said. "I think we are going to surprise a lot of teams this season and will be up there."
While Moses has recorded his only goal and assist on the road this season, teammate and former Ligue 1 star Dimitri Payet has three of his club-leading four league goals and two assists in the last four contests overall.
Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye has drawn the praise of manager Alan Pardew after scoring two of his three goals in the last two matches.
"You need someone like Cabaye to orchestrate (the game)," Pardew said.
Cabaye also assisted on Bolasie’s first Premier League goal of the season in the 2-0 victory over West Brom on Oct. 3 at the Park.