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West Ham vs Crystal Palace – Statistical Preview

West Ham, currently sitting 12th on 37 points will be looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat at home to Crystal Palace this weekend.  Despite losing to Liverpool and Arsenal in their last two fixtures West Ham are all but safe for another season in the Premier League but Sam Allardyce will be expecting a better result against Palace.

 A strong defence will be key for the Hammers against Palace with Jason Puncheon and Cameron Jerome both scoring on Wednesday against Everton.  Guy Demel and Winston Reid both had busy nights against Arsenal mid week.  Guy Demel made 6 tackles at a 100% success rate whilst Winston Reid made 13 clearances, more than any other Hammers player.

 Andy Carroll’s injury worries look firmly behind him as he cements his place as West Ham’s top striker.  With the forward eyeing a seat on the plane to Rio for this summers’ World Cup, Carroll will be looking to impress in the remaining games of the season.  The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows Carroll attempted the most shots on goal (3) against Arsenal with none finding the target.   

To complement Carroll’s strength in the air and physical presence, the Hammers will be aiming to provide crosses into the box at every opportunity.  West Ham have two fine wingers in the form of Stuart Downing and Matt Jarvis with the latter providing the opener against Arsenal on Tuesday.  Alongside his goal Jarvis made 3 attacking contributions (crosses, assists, dribbles and shots) but will be hoping to provide more service against Palace.

 Palace are currently in a rich vein of form having won four games in a row.  Tony Pulis must be given great credit, considering the position Palace were in when he took over at Selhurst Park.  With a huge victory away at Goodison Park on Wednesday night, Crystal Palace are all but safe in 11th position and have hit the magic 40 point mark for the season. 

 Jason Puncheon has been arguably Crystal Palace’s best player this season since arriving from Southampton and he again proved his worth on Wednesday.  Puncheon opened the scoring for Palace at Goodison and also assisted Cameron Jerome for the winner.  Puncheon and Yannick Bolasie both made 6 attacking contributions for the team more than any other players. 

 Scott Dann has been at the heart of the Crystal Palace defence since joining in January and netted Palace’s second against Everton.  A large part of Crystal Palace’s success in recent weeks has been down to their solid defence.  Keeping clean sheets in 3 of the last 4 games has been crucial to Palace’s rise into the middle of the table.  The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows Dann was successful in all of his tackles and made 3 clearances throughout the night.  Fellow defender Damien Delaney also stood out making the most clearances (10) during the match.

 West Ham have a strong and physical midfield in Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble and Crystal Palace will need to be prepared for a battle.  Mile Jedinak made 16 defensive contributions (clearances, interceptions and blocks) against Everton and will have to be on hand to support the defence when the likes of Nolan, Jarvis and Downing attack through midfield.