Crystal Palace vs Swansea City: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction
Frank de Boer’s Crystal Palace side will host Swansea City at Selhurst Park on Saturday with both sides looking to kick-start their respective Premier League campaigns and register their first victory.
It has been a tough start to life in England for the Dutchman since taking over from Sam Allardyce at the end of last season, falling to successive defeats and failing to score in over 180 minutes of action.
And it hasn’t been any easier for Paul Clement’s Swansea side, who have also failed to find the back of the net in their opening two matches of the season, and it is already a vital encounter on Saturday.
As alluded to above it’s been a bit of a baptism of fire for De Boer since arriving in London, and it must seem like a lifetime ago that he was leading a successful Ajax side to the Europa League final.
Heavy opening day defeat at home to newly-promoted Huddersfield Town wasn’t the start Palace would have wanted and, despite being dogged in defeat at Liverpool, they’ll be desperate for a win.
Their opponents – and relegation rivals from last season – are in a similar position, still waiting on their opening goal of the new season after encounters with Southampton and Manchester United.
The Swans were arguably lucky to come away with a point on the opening day at St Mary’s and, to their credit, they put in a much-improved performance for 79 minutes in the defeat against United.
Both sides will head into the clash on the back of morale-boosting mid-week wins against lower opposition in the Carabao Cup though so expect it to be a full-on encounter down at Selhurst Park.
For the hosts, it is unlikely that boss De Boer will risk bringing back key-man Wilfried Zaha as he undergoes rehabilitation from his injured knee, meaning Jason Puncheon should retain his spot.
Jario Riedewald is in contention to return to the starting eleven in place of James Tomkins after missing the Anfield trip through injury in the only other expected change.
Paul Clement could persist with his three-man defensive system on Saturday after successfully trialling it against Manchester United despite the fact Kyle Bartley faces two months on the side-line with knee damage, with Mike van der Hoorn the likely replacement in the centre of defence.
Fernando Llorente is still ruled out for the visitors, leaving Tammy Abraham poised to continue his search for a first Premier League goal, whilst new signing Sam Clucas could feature from the bench at some point.
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Match Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Swansea City
Both sides will be desperate to get that first win next to their names in the Premier League table after their disappointing starts to the new season so expect it to be a cagey opening on Saturday.
However, with the two teams equally subject at the back – and with the clashes between them last campaign sharing 12 goals – the floodgates could open and it will be a case of who can score more.
Frank de Boer will be desperately searching for that elusive first victory to get him off the mark in England and, with the fire-power of Christian Benteke up front, they should secure a narrow victory.