Crystal Palace are still on the hunt for their first points of the new Premier League campaign when Swansea visit Selhurst Park on Saturday. The Swans will also be looking for their first victory of the season, having drawn one and lost another so far.
Crystal Palace vs Swansea City: Match Preview
Coming off a strong 4-1 victory over MK Dons in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup fixture, Swansea will be looking to keep the goals flowing. Like Palace, the Swans are yet to find the back of the net this season. A 0-0 draw with Southampton, followed by a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United, saw the side struggle to create going forward. After seeing Huddersfield Town put three past their upcoming opponents two weeks ago, however, Swansea can have some confidence that this will be a more open game.
With no more Gylfi Sigurdsson at the helm of Swansea’s attack, the Welsh club have completed a deal to bring Hull City midfielder Sam Clucas to the side. Clucas started 36 of Hull’s 38 matches last season, scoring three times and recording one assist. He will be available for Swansea at the weekend should Paul Clement include him in the side.
Strikers Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew will pose the biggest threat to Wayne Hennessey’s goal. Both got on the scoresheet on Tuesday after midfielder Leroy Fer completed his brace. Fer should be able to exploit Palace’s defence, and will rely on Abraham and Ayew’s movement up top to do so.
Despite a stern defensive display against Southampton, Swansea were exposed when United visited the Liberty Stadium. Conceding three goals in the span of four minutes, the defence could do little to nothing as the Red Devils ran riot. Losing concentration against the likes of Christian Benteke for just a moment could easily prove costly.
A midweek win over Ipswich Town in the Carabao Cup is just what Palace needed going into this match, but the options in attack looked thin despite the victory. They relied on midfielder James McArthur to score twice in the second half to see them past the Championship side. In the wake of Wilfried Zaha’s injury, Palace’s forwards will find chances hard to come by.
This was evident in their 1-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was the one providing the spark, creating the only chances his side had. If they expect to see off Swansea, others will have to step up. Whether it’s Andros Townsend, Jason Lokilo or Sullay Kaikai on the other wing, crosses need to be coming in from both sides for Benteke to latch onto.
If Palace put on a defensive display like they did against Liverpool, Swansea’s attack might have a frustrating day. A back three of James Tomkins, Scott Dann and Timothy Fosu-Mensah should be more than capable of keeping Abraham and Ayew at bay. As long as they stay compact and don’t get stretched, they will be very tough to break down. Although he put in a fantastic performance at Anfield, the side should not have to rely on Hennessey as much as it currently does.
The Swans did the double over Palace last season, securing all three points in a 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park after coming out on top in a wild 5-4 at the Liberty Stadium. After a poor start to the season, it is up to Frank de Boer’s side to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself.
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