3rd of January 2017 Author: Johnny Karp
Two struggling teams kick off their second half of the season on Tuesday at Selhurst Park, where Crystal Palace host Swansea. The reverse fixture was a real thriller, Swansea won 5-4 after the Eagles had fought back from 3-1 down and were leading 4-3 on 90 minutes. That was the second Premier League victory for the Swans against Crystal Palace, the Eagles have won just once while all the other results between the two teams in the top flight were draws.
Crystal Palace were hoping for big things this season after having invested heavily in new players during the summer. Things didn't go as planned, they are just two points above the relegation zone at the halfway mark of the season and manager Alan Pardew was replaced by former England boss Sam Allardyce. The new manager has recorded a draw at Watford and a loss at Arsenal on New Year's Day, but his main concern remains the rather long list of injured players as Jonathan Benteke, Joe Ledley, Steve Mandanda, Pape Souare and Connor Wickham remain unavailable.
Swansea are now at the bottom of the Premier League table after four consecutive defeats. Their defense is the worst in the league with 44 goals conceded in 19 matches, in those last four defeats they conceded at least three goals in each game. The January transfer window might bring in some reinforcements, but it might be too late to turn things around. Manager Bob Bradley got sacked after just 85 days in charge, with Bayern Munich assistant manager Paul Clement ready to step in for the job. Jordi Amat, Jefferson Montero and Fernando Llorente are unavailable for this match because of injuries.
Crystal Palace: Hennessey - Kelly, Dann, Tomkins, Ward - Puncheon, Flamini - Townsend, Cabaye, Zaha - Benteke
Swansea: Fabianski - Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Taylor - Ki, Britton - Dyer, Fer, Sigurdsson - McBurnie
My prediction: Crystal Palace to win 2-1.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Crystal Palace win - 1.83
Draw - 3.75
Swansea win - 4.75
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