Palace will look to bounce back from a tough run of form when they travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley.
The tough run of matches is finally over for Palace and they will be hoping to end their run of five games without a win. The tough run of form The Eagles are in has seen them slide down the table and into thirteenth place, five points above the relegation zone and four points outside of fifth place. Palace will not enter the busy holiday period not having to play a member of the Premier League top six until after the new year. Turning around their form in these easier matches will be essential to avoiding slipping into a relegation fight.
Burnley have been fairly up and down this season and sit seventh in the table on 18 points, only three ahead of Palace. However, they come into this match on good form with convincing 3-0 wins against West Ham and Watford in the last two weeks. Sean Dyche has helped to firmly establish Burnleyas a Premier League club and they will fancy their chances for a third straight win in front of their home fans.
While the result of The Eagles last match wasn’t what fans would have wanted the Eagles still gave a good account of themselves against league leaders Liverpool. Joel Ward’s status will yet again be in question this week after he was forced off with injury again in the last match. If he cannot go expect Martin Kelly to come off the bench to replace him. Outside of that it would be a surprise to see Roy Hodgson make any other changes to the starting eleven he has been using recently unless he opts to add a little more creativity into the midfield. Hodgson also raised questions as to the health of Andros Townsend after the game and if the Englishman were to miss out Jeffery Schlupp or Max Meyer could step up to replace him.
One of the primary reasons for the success of Burnley this season is the strong form of their forward duo of Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood. Both strikers have six goals in the Premier League this season, which is two more than Palace leading goal scorer Jordan Ayew who only has four. Barnes and Wood play off each other well and both are a dangerous threat in the air. The other strength of this squad lies in defence where BurnleyStalwart Ben Mee and James Tarkowski form a centre-back team that rivals Palace for the best outside of the League’s top teams.
One of the biggest storylines of last weekend’s match was Wilfried Zaha’s goal. The Palace talisman has not been on his best form this season and the goal was his first of the season. If Zaha can recapture his best form ahead of this run against teams on Palace’s level he could help propel them to a good run of results. Zaha could also find success against the outside-backs of Burnley who are both solid players but do not have the skill or pace to contain Zaha when he is on his game.
After the spirit that Palace showed last week fans of the Red and Blue should be optimistic for this weekend’s match. Burnley are a good team who will consider this a winnable game as well. This could also be a game in which Palace finally get their attack on track against a team that have not been the most defensively resolute this season. No matter the result, expect a good game at Turf Moor this weekend.