Crystal Palace: Drop Gayle, Crowd The Midfield And Shoot From Distance To Beat West Ham

Tuesday night sees a turgid battle at the bottom of the Premier League when West Ham travel across London to meet Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. It will be Tony Pulis’ second game in charge of the Eagles in what looks to be shaping up as a long-ball fest, so here are my thoughts on how the home side can gain a crucial three points.

First up I have notices this season that the Hammers are vulnerable to shots from distance – from the 14 goals they have conceded, half of them have been from outside the box. So, in order to exploit that Pulis should be telling his midfield players to have a pop at goal whenever they get the chance and his forwards to have a few first time shots.

Secondly I would suggest that Palace stick an extra man in the holding role, as West Ham are currently playing with no strikers. Overcrowding their attacking players should quash any real threat from open play and if they don’t score, they can’t win.

Lastly, I would say that Dwight Gayle needs to be dropped. It’s all well and good playing the 23-year-old week in week out in an attempt to see some repayment in the huge fee that they paid, but he’s scored just twice, one from the penalty spot, in his 12 appearances. The clash will be a gritty one and I fear that Gayle could go missing.

In conclusion, shoot from range, crowd the midfield and drop Gayle and I think Palace may have a chance.