This is a pivotal match at the bottom of the table and it is imperative that Hull City win to drag Crystal Palace back into the relegation zone. Depending on Swansea’s result on Saturday, it is possible that the visitors could be relegated this weekend with a loss at Selhurst Park. After a run of fine form, the Eagles have lost their last three matches and aren’t out of danger yet. This is their final home match of the season and they will be desperate to put their survival beyond doubt with a victory this weekend.
Sam Allardyce has done a good job since taking over at Selhurst Park. The side were only going one direction under Alan Pardew and it was important that they gave their new manager time to turn their fortunes around. Their wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool were surprising, but they generated the momentum required to move out of the bottom three. Although the last three performances haven’t been great, Palace will be confident of picking up the three points on Sunday.
Although Marco Silva has done a great job at Hull City, they are now relying on the results of other teams to stay up. To give themselves a chance, they need to win their last two matches and to do that, they will need to play a lot better than they managed last week. They didn’t play well at all against Sunderland and saw their manager’s excellent home record come to an end.
Crystal Palace have lost their last three matches without scoring a goal and that is a real concern heading into the final two games of the season. They had previously gone on a run with only one defeat in eight matches and thought they had done enough to steer clear of trouble. However, they have been pulled back in and there is no room for error.
Hull City have consistently picked up points under Silva, but they haven’t managed to go on a run of wins to take them clear of the drop zone. They have taken ten points from their last seven matches, which has prevented them from being cut adrift, but they need to perform much better over the final two games of the season.
Scott Dann could be back to steady up the back four after Jeffrey Schlupp was forced to play as a centre back during the last game. Andros Townsend should be able to shake off a knock to start.
Silva could decide to match the 4-3-3 that Palace often play and bring in Tom Huddlestone to sure up the midfield.
Andros Townsend, Joel Ward, Yohan Cabaye, James Tomkins and Scott Dann are all doubts for the home side. Meanwhile, Mamadou Sakho, Connor Wickham and Pape Souare have all been ruled out through injury.
Lazar Markovic will miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury, joining David Meyler, Ryan Mason, Will Keane and Moses Odubajo on the injury list.
Match Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Hull City
It is going to be a fierce contest at Selhurst Park, with both sides fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table. Neither team can afford to lose this match, but it is the home side that have the better players. They shouldn’t be in the situation that they are in given the quality of players that they have in the squad. In Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha, they have two of the best attacking players in the bottom half. They should have enough to take the three points.