London Stadium - Premier League
West Ham host Crystal Palace at the London Stadium this weekend, after the teams had different results in the midweek round of fixtures. The Hammers won consecutive games for the first time in nearly two years, while Palace went down at Brighton despite enjoying a man advantage for over an hour.
Both of the games between these two clubs ended in a draw last season. West Ham went 2-0 up in the first fixture at Selhurst Park but Wilfried Zaha scored in the 97th minute to earn hosts Palace a dramatic 2-2 draw. Mark Noble’s penalty cancelled out Christian Benteke’s opener in the return, which finished 1-1.
Marko Arnautovic has been ruled out for around a month, which is a real blow to Manuel Pellegrini ahead of the busy Christmas period. The West Ham boss has a disastrous injury list, which also includes the likes of Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko, Carlos Sanchez and Winston Reid.
The Hammers won’t have to worry about Benteke this weekend, as the Belgian striker is out until the end of December with a knee injury. Fellow forward Connor Wickham is nearing a return to action, and could be in with a chance of playing here along with long-term absentee Scott Dann.
West Ham United v Crystal Palace Preview and Predictions
West Ham’s back-to-back victories have lifted them nicely clear of the relegation fight, but Crystal Palace are very much still involved after only winning one of their last nine Premier League fixtures. This is a huge London derby for the visitors, but the hosts are the favourites.
The Hammers are 13/10 for the win, which could catapult them up towards the top half of the table after a poor start to the season. They followed up an impressive 3-0 victory over Newcastle at St James’ Park with a 3-1 win against Cardiff in midweek.
Irons fans haven’t seen their side put together a decent run in the last couple of seasons, but this is a great chance to make it three in a row against an underperforming Palace side, who are 5/2 to take the points on Saturday.
The Eagles toiled against 10 men for most of their game at Brighton on Tuesday, their ninth defeat in 15 games. Star man Zaha hasn’t hit the back of the net since a decisive goal at Huddersfield in mid-September, and Hodgson needs his Ivorian forward to start hitting the heights once again. If he does, the draw could be on the cards at 5/2.
West Ham to win to nil at 3/1
The away team are struggling badly for goals, with only 11 from 15 games, and the home fans will be confident of picking up their third straight victory.
Lucas Perez to to score first at 13/2
The Spanish striker came on for the injured Arnautovic in the first half against Cardiff and bagged a brace - the Hammers need him to step up once again here.