We have another London derby on the horizon this Afternoon as Crystal Palace make the short visit to West Ham and The London Stadium but they will do so with former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce facing off against his old employers.
In a week where West Ham have made the headlines thanks to Dimitri Payet and according to Slaven Bilic his apparent refusal to play for the club they will hope that they can focus on matters on the pitch and more importantly return to winning ways.
That’s because after winning three matches on the spin they have now lost their last three in all competitions with their last outing being that embarrassing 5-0 defeat in front of their own fans to Manchester City in the F.A. Cup 3rd Round last Friday night.
The cup defeat will obviously still be sore but now that they have been dumped out of the competition they will have to put their focus solely on continuing to steer clear of the bottom three which is a task that new Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce will also have in mind.
The one time England boss is still looking for his first win since taking charge of the club. It seems as if we are witnessing something of an Allardyce comeback tour as he visits all the old teams that he has been the manager of. This week West Ham and last week it was Bolton.
It was not a happy return to what is now The Macron Stadium as a drizzly Saturday Afternoon saw the two sides play out a rather uninspiring 0-0 draw. A game which saw Loic Remy finally make an appearance 5 months after signing for the club.
Remy will be pushing for inclusion as will new signing Jeffrey Schlupp who was signed from Leicester yesterday. A number of clubs were believed to be in the race for Schlupp’s signature but it was the South London club which eventually beat the likes of West Brom and Aston Villa to the chase.
It is now 6 games without a win for Crystal Palace in the league, a run which has seen them drop back down to 17th and they are now just one point clear of the relegation zone. If results go against them then they will be in the bottom three by the end of the day.
That is why this London derby takes on even more importance later on. West Ham are missing the talents of Payet but then again you could argue that they have been missing them for most of the season with his performances not matching the heights of his debut campaign.
With The Eagles be able to take advantage of the situation regarding the East London club and can Allardyce finally get that all important first win for the club. You get the feeling he would love to get one over messers Gold and Sullivan.
Unfortunately I think that result is still going allude him as I have a feeling this one is going to end in a draw, a draw that does either side any real favours but they will probably both be glad for the point. Palace will nervously look at Sunderland’s result but I think they will have to make do with a share of the points.