Palace and Leeds are level on points, but different styles make this an exciting match
Leeds to win 2-1
Although many football fans would argue that Leeds have enjoyed the better start to the season, playing entertaining football in all their matches, they sit level on points with their opponents Palace.
Their recent form is slightly better, however, winning two of their previous five, while Roy Hodgson’s Palace have won just once since they beat Manchester United back in September.
They have contrasting styles, of course, Leeds showcasing their attractive style of play, pressing high up the pitch and committing bodies forward at every opportunity.
Crystal Palace have often preferred to sit back, soak up the pressure, before hitting teams on the counterattack, as they showed to great effect against the likes of Manchester United and Fulham, a couple of weeks ago.
Both sides tasted defeat last weekend, so they will not need any added motivation to return to form here, with the winner potentially moving up as high in the table as 7th.
Form Guide (all comps): LLWDL
Reasons to be cheerful:
Gary Cahill and James McCarthy should be fit to start
Wilf Zaha has five goals and one assist so far this season
Reasons to be fearful:
Fewest shots of any team in the league
Luka Milivojevic will miss out through suspension
Crystal Palace have suffered since their brilliant victory over Manchester United back on September 19th.
Only one win from their next five matches shows that they have faced tougher times, though will not be completely unhappy with their position in the table.
They are only one place below their final position last season, 12th, and Roy Hodgson will be thinking that if a few improvements are made they can push ahead of that this time around.
Palace should not fear Leeds, despite the number of problems the Peacocks have caused teams this season. The home side have the own strengths, particularly on the counterattack, and if they can bring Zaha into play, they could get some joy here.
Star Man – Wilf Zaha
Continues to be Palace’s main man, but needs support from others in the team.
Form Guide (all comps): WDLWL
Reasons to be cheerful
Second highest number of shots in the league
Have found winning easier against the lower teams
Reasons to be fearful
Palace can cause problems on the counterattack
Leeds’ defence has been leaky of late
Leeds will certainly see this fixture as a chance to return to winning ways, after their disappointing defeat to Leicester last weekend.
They have played well in almost all of their matches this season, but have found it much easier picking up points against the so-called smaller teams, with wins against Villa, Sheffield United and Fulham.
Crystal Palace, although a dangerous side on the counterattack, fall into this category and Leeds could overpower them with their intense style of high pressing.
With the league positions being so tight currently, one win could potentially boost Leeds up to 7th place, which should serve as motivation here.
They have been proactive going forward, and boast the second-highest number of attempts on goal this season (96), behind Liverpool.
Star Man – Patrick Bamford
A quality player who is scoring goals and bringing others into play too.
Leeds will aim to dominate possession
Palace will likely keep it tight at the back and look to counter quickly
Leeds could come away with all three points
Both sides are more comfortable going forward than defending and therefore we could see a few goals in this one.
Although Leeds lost their last match, they are a team who are likely to suffer from ups and downs this season and won’t be worried by losing to a team such as Leicester who are challenging for the top four.
Palace are the type of team who Leeds may have identified as one they can take maximum points from and they could return to winning form here.
Leeds to win 2-1