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Match Preview


Posted Fri 18 Jan 13

Preview: Crystal Palace (A)

Setting The Scene

Wanderers travel to the capital to take on Crystal Palace this weekend, as Dougie Freedman makes his first return to the club where he began his managerial career.

Freedman’s replacement in the managerial hot-seat, Ian Holloway, took over the high-flying Eagles at the start of November and his target will be to replicate his achievement with Blackpool in 2010, when he took the Seasiders to the Premier League.

After losing their opening three league games, the Selhurst Park outfit embarked on a quite incredible 14-match unbeaten run which saw them collect 36 of the 42 points available.

That sequence catapulted the Londoners to the top of the Championship, but just two wins from their last ten league fixtures has seen them slip to fourth, although they remain just two points off the automatic promotion places.

Their best chance of succeeding in their bid to return to the top flight will be to keep striker Glenn Murray fit and firing. The frontman has hit 22 goals in 23 Championship starts this term, making him the most prolific marksman in the division. 

One To Watch - Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha has arguably been the most talked about player in the Championship this season. The forward’s displays in the first half of the campaign have seen the Palace academy graduate heavily linked with a move to some of the country’s biggest clubs.

Mainly deployed as a pacey winger, Zaha earned recognition for his impressive performances by getting his first full international cap when he came on as a second half substitute for England against Sweden in a November friendly.

Despite that appearance for the Three Lions, Zaha is still eligible to represent Ivory Coast, the country of his birth, due to his debut for Roy Hodgson’s side coming in a non-competitive fixture.  

So far this campaign, he has weighed in with five goals, including a superb brace against Wolves in Palace’s 2-1 win at Molineux at the start of October.

Team News

Keith Andrews is struggling to be fit in time for the trip to London after picking up a knock on his Achilles. 

Sam Ricketts is also a doubt after sustaining a groin injury, but Craig Davies has been passed fit and could make his Wanderers debut.

Mark Davies and Matt Mills both continue to step up their recovery from shoulder and thigh complaints, but will not feature against the Eagles.

David Wheater is back in first team training as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury, but the weekend’s game comes too soon for the defender.

All-Time Record

Crystal Palace WinsDrawsBolton Wins
FA Cup100
League Cup200

Man In The Middle - Robert Madley

The Selhurst Park clash will be refereed by Robert Madley of West Yorkshire. This season Mr Madley has taken charge of 20 games, including matches in all three divisions of the Football League. He has issued a total of 50 yellow cards and also shown three players straight red cards.

Fan Information

Travelling fans are able to buy tickets on the day from the away turnstiles, but are advised to arrive early to avoid disappointment. Click here for information.