Classy West Ham take on dangerous Palace in London derby
West Ham to win 2-1
West Ham bounced back from their defeat against Manchester United by winning with the help of a late goal against Leeds at the start of last weekend.
The Hammers seem destined for a good season under manager David Moyes, who has his side playing with both quality and consistency and have now won four of their last five matches.
While 5th may be unrealistic come the end of the season, it is well deserved after how well they have played over the opening 12 matches of the season and shows the strength of the squad Moyes has available to him.
Crystal Palace fought back against leaders Tottenham to secure a late point, which was thoroughly deserved after an even contest.
They too have shown plenty of quality this season, though sit six places below their opponents in the league table, largely due to lack of consistency so far, not to mention missing Zaha to injury for a couple of games.
Form Guide (all comps): WWWLW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Great run of form continues
Have scored in all but one of their league matches
Reasons to be fearful:
Palace can be devastating on the counter
Haven’t kept a clean sheet in three games
West Ham have transformed themselves into a reliably good team, and one that no one will relish playing against this season.
Understandably, few expect them to finish as high as 5th at the end of the season, but with the form they are in, no one will take them for granted.
They are still to welcome back Michail Antonio after injury – his return would be a boost, but they seem to be coping well without him. The 2-1 scoreline flattered Leeds at the weekend – it could have easily finished with more goals for West Ham.
The likes of Soucek, Fornals and Haller are all contributing in front of goal right now, easing the pressure on Moyes with his main striker out injured.
Crystal Palace will represent a threat, particularly on the counter, but the Hammers have plenty of their own firepower.
Star Man – Tomas Soucek
The tall Czech midfielder is a driving force in West Ham’s team and took his goal well against Leeds.
Form Guide (all comps): WLLWD
Reasons to be cheerful
Deserved their point against Spurs
Wilf Zaha is playing excellently
Reasons to be fearful
Three defeats in six has hampered their progress
Face a tough December schedule
Crystal Palace fully deserved their point against league leaders Spurs after creating several chances throughout the match and with players such as Zaha and Eze causing no end of problems for their opponents.
Palace have suffered from three defeats in six, though two of those came during the absence of the injured Zaha, who has now returned in great form.
On form, he is one of the best attackers in the league, combining pace and skill with an eye for goal to match. His best goalscoring season for the club was back in 2018-19, when he scored 10 goals across 36 matches. From 10 games this season, he already has seven.
As a team, they are a little more inconsistent than West Ham, the key reason why they are six places further down the table. But in moments, they can shock any side in the league.
Star Man – Wilf Zaha
Has been instrumental since returning from injury.
Could be an end-to-end match
Both sides are likely to score
West Ham could move into the top four with a win
West Ham are looking to continue their good form, and the incentive of moving into the top four with a win should ensure they are at it for this one.
They will need to be wary of Palace’s lightning quick counterattacks, but should be favourites to take the points here.
West Ham to win 2-1