Match Preview: Swansea City vs Crystal Palace


By - Saturday 1st March, 2014

Matt Woosnam previews Sunday’s game in Wales


Liberty Stadium. Image by Andrew Green, used under Creative Commons (http://goo.gl/B72eJR).

After a 2-0 defeat at home to Premier League champions Manchester United, Crystal Palace will be looking to take their revenge on Swansea this coming Sunday, after being played off the park in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

Both teams have new men at the helm, with Tony Pulis replacing Ian Holloway and steadying the ship, whilst Swansea sacked Michael Laudrup and replaced him with club legend Garry Monk (sound familiar?). Monk has improved performances for the Welsh side but results have still been poor, with the Swans winning only once under his tenure. They sit in 12th position in the Premier League, two points above Palace who are 16th.

Glenn Murray made a shock return to the starting line up against Manchester United on Saturday, much to the delight of the Selhurst Park faithful, but will surely be restricted to a bench spot at Swansea after so long out with a serious injury. Jerome Thomas is the only injury concern for Palace, although Adlene Guedioura has mysteriously disappeared without trace, presumably due to injury. Marouane Chamakh struggled on Saturday but may find a new man up top again, with Tom Ince taking Murray’s spot; enabling Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon to maraud down the wings.

A potential return for Bolasie would bring much needed pace into the side, but his inconsistency excites and frustrates in equal measure. Nonetheless, he provides something a little different to anyone in the squad, and that is unpredictability.

Palace have failed to score in their last five competitive meetings with Swansea

Swansea were knocked out of the Europa League in cruel fashion on Thursday night, but should welcome back midfielder Jonjo Shelvey for Palace’s visit, after the midfielder missed the tie with Napoli with a hamstring injury. Wilfried Bony has been in superb form for the Swans of late and will most probably lead the line with wingers Nathan Dyer and ex-Palace man Wayne Routledge in support. Star striker Michu remains sidelined with a long term injury, but Palace will also need to be wary of the form of Pablo Hernandez in the centre of midfield, which could lead to an exciting duel with Joe Ledley and Mile Jedinak.

Palace have failed to score in their last five competitive meetings with Swansea, but with a full complement of attackers they may well fancy their chances against a rather porous defence. Nonetheless, they will need to be on top form to defeat an improving Swansea side who have been somewhat rejuvenated under new boss Garry Monk.

It will be a tough test and I can’t see the Eagles breaking their hoodoo against the Swans this time around, but the match ought to be far closer than the reverse fixture at Selhurst Park where Palace were defeated 2-0.

Prediction:
Swansea City 2-1 Crystal Palace.

Matt Woosnam

Matt Woosnam

Matt Woosnam is a Kingston University student in his final year as a Politics & International Relations undergraduate. A campaigner on mental health he is the founder of @Talk_Out, as well as part of the TalkEasyTrust, and seeks to break down stigma by encouraging talking out. Matt is also an avid Crystal Palace fan and the online editor of Five Year Plan Fanzine, as well as a regular contributor to the Croydon Guardian.

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