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Crystal Palace vs Leicester – Match Preview

Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak is nursing a sore back and his fitness will be assessed ahead of the visit of leaders Leicester.

Connor Wickham, James McArthur and Marouane Chamakh all remain sidelined by injuries.

Leicester’s Andy King is a doubt with the sickness bug that caused him to miss Monday’s win against Newcastle.

Fellow midfielder Matty James is not yet ready to a return from a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Editor’s Note: Crystal Palace are still searching for a first win in the Premier League since December 19th and now they have to try and end that miserable run with the visit of League leaders Leicester. It’s already 12 without a win, will it be the unlucky 13 this Afternoon.

The only brief respite that Palace have had in this miserable 2016 is their F.A. Cup run, one that has now taken them to Wembley for a Semi Final against Watford and with that pairing there is no reason why they can’t then secure a second Wembley trip in May.

But Alan Pardew must be scratching his head as to why he can’t seem to buy a win in the League and have turned into a Cup only team. Last Friday it took two late goals to get past Championship side Reading, the first coming from a fortunate Penalty award. Funny Alan Pardew changed his stance of diving space of 5 days.

The award of the Penalty against Reading was probably the right one but it was incredibly soft, just like the award for Christian Benteke’s spot kick in the 96th Minute in which the Belgian then duly stepped up to slot home and give 10 men Liverpool all 3 points.

You could see the visible frustration in Alan Pardew as he threw his coat to the ground and was no doubt asking himself how his side managed to throw away all 3 points after having both a goal and a man advantage.

That’s all in the past now and Pardew will have to try and get that cup form to spill over into the League as they could still do with at least one more win to make sure they are Premier League football next season. 6th before Christmas looks a distant memory now for Crystal Palace.

One team that don’t even know what 6th place is season are Leicester. This is a big game, to be fair every game seems to be bigger than the next but a win Today would see them go 8 points clear for at least 24 hours.

Even though Tottenham will play a day later, the psychological boost that could have for Claudio Ranieri’s side could be massive. At this stage of the season it’s always better to get the points on the board and do what you need to do and make the other sides chase you. If they can give Spurs a 8 point gap to work through then the onus really is on them to hunt them down.

It’s fair to say that Leicester have been doing just enough to get over the line in the last two matches. But that’s all they need to do. Right now it’s points not performances that will win you the title, the zip of the first half of the season isn’t quite there but the points still are.

The last two matches has seen successive 1-0 victories. First at Watford and then at home to Newcastle on Monday. Had they played a better team on Monday then it may have been a different result but you can only beat what’s in front of you and that’s exactly what they did.

Leicester will more than happily settle for a 1-0 win today at Selhurst Park as the Claudio Ranieri’s side look to edge closer and closer to the finishing line. The smart money has to go on Leicester considering Palace haven’t won in 12, while the whole of North London will be hoping their cross city rivals can do them a massive favour. An away win for me.

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