Crystal Palace v West Ham: Hammers to stay on a roll with derby victory

Crystal Palace v West Ham
Tuesday 26 January, 18:00
Live on BT Sport 2

Mateta arrives at Palace

Crystal Palace have had a nine-day break since their 4-0 defeat at Manchester City in their last Premier League match and they start the second half of their campaign in 13th with 23 points.

In the interim they have signed striker Jean-Philippe Mateta on an 18-month loan with an option to make the move permanent. The 23-year-old has scored 10 goals in 17 appearances for Mainz in all competitions this season and his arrival has opened the door for Christian Benteke to leave in January before his contract expires in the summer.

Mateta, who last played for Mainz on January 9, could go straight into the side.

Wilfried Zaha, who missed the City defeat, has been back in training and should return to the side, along with Cheikhou Kouyate.

Jeffrey Schlupp and Mamadou Sakho are sidelined.

Five in a row for Hammers

West Ham have been busier than their opponents and more successful, having won all five matches in all competitions since the start of the year.

The latest victory was Saturday’s 4-0 home win over Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup, following on from back-to-back Premier League wins against Burnley and West Brom.

At the halfway mark the Hammers are seventh with 32 points, their highest tally at this stage of a Premier League season.

David Moyes’ priority in the transfer window is to add another forward following the sale of Sebastien Haller to Ajax, which left Michail Antonio as the only senior striker.

Moyes may well stick with the side that beat West Brom 2-1 in the last league match, although Fabian Balbuena played the cup game and is in contention for a league recall.

Palace’s only win in their last eight Premier League games came against rock-bottom Sheffield United (2-0 at home), although that W1 D4 L3 run includes a 1-1 draw at West Ham on December 16.

Their previous win was the 5-1 at West Brom on December 6, against another of the strugglers, and there is not much recent evidence of their ability to beat an in-form team like West Ham.

Since starting the season with back-to-back wins over Southampton (1-0 at home) and Manchester United (3-1 away), Palace’s only other league victories were against Fulham (2-1 away) and Leeds (4-1 at home).

West Ham are unbeaten in all competitions since losing 3-0 at Chelsea on December 21 and their only other defeats since the end of September were against Liverpool (2-1 away) and Manchester United (3-1 at home).

In that period their record against bottom-half teams is a solid W6 D2 L0 and Moyes’s side rate the form pick at 2.466/4 for the win.

With Palace’s high draw rate in mind, it is worth considering a little insurance with West Ham off 0 & -0.5 on the Asian handicap at 2.111/10.

West Ham’s games are towards the top end for goals with 11 out of 19 (58%) having gone over 2.5. The home figures are even with five out of 10 (50%) overs.

Palace are in the mid-range with 10 out of 19 (53%) unders. The trend is higher on the road with six out of 10 (60%) overs.

Both teams to score is worth considering at 1.910/11. That has happened in their last seven meetings.

Four of those seven went over 2.5 goals, which is available at 2.26/5.

Opta Stat

Crystal Palace have won none of their last 19 Premier League games against teams starting the day in the top half (D6 L13). Since beating Man Utd in September, Palace’s four wins have been against the three newly promoted teams (Fulham, Leeds, West Brom) and bottom placed Sheffield United. The West Ham double result on Half Time/Full Time is 3.8514/5.

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