It seems as if a fortnight ago bought something of a false dawn to Crystal Palace and their fans. After victory over Chelsea at Selhurst Park gave them their first points and goals of the season the belief was that their campaign starts now.
But they are almost back to square zero after another meek showing last weekend. Their trip to Newcastle seven days ago was the second time this season that they have gone a whole ninety minutes without even having a shot on goal.
The first against Manchester City with the form that they are currently in is somewhat understandable but the same cannot be said for their trip to Tyneside as they failed to test ‘keeper Robert Elliot throughout the duration of the ninety minutes.
Palace have however got rid of one unwanted record at that is the fact that they are no longer the team that has conceded the most goals in the Premier League, they have now been surpassed by Stoke who have given away 20 goals in their first nine matches.
The fact they only lost by a single goal last weekend is something that should be commended to a certain degree but right now it is not small steps that they need but giant strides as they are in danger of being cast adrift at the bottom of the table.
Their opponents today West Ham will come here full of momentum after events in midweek, with the Hammers 2-0 down at Wembley it looked as if they were going to be dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham.
Not only that though but Slaven Bilic looked as if he would be edging even closer to the Olympic Stadium exit door. We all know what happened next as the Croatian must have given the teamtalk of his life with the Hammers coming back to win 3-2 and progress to the next round.
That has put them one step closer to a return to Wembley in February but ultimately it is league performances that are going to define whether or not Bilic stays in charge for a third full season with the East London outfit, they may have won on Wednesday but defeat to Brighton last Friday will still be in the memory.
It is a result that sees West Ham sit 16th in the table and they are currently avoiding the bottom three thanks to goal difference, if results go against them then they could find themselves in the relegation zone by the end of Sunday afternoon.
In a sense the win over Tottenham has bought Bilic a bit more time but has that at the same time just created a false dawn, do the club need a clean break instead of delaying what could well be the inevitable. I guess the answer to that will be whether or not they can get much needed wins on the board and move themselves up the table.
There is no doubting that this is a must win fixture for both clubs, a win for Palace would still see them bottom but it would at least mean they are in touching distance of the group of clubs above, with one of those of course being West Ham.
But I think the traveling East London outfit will be buoyed by their efforts in midweek while Roy Hodgson has got to pick his players off the ground once again and for that reason I think this one will end up in an away win for the Hammers as they make the short trip back across the capital with all three points.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) October 27, 2017