Crystal Palace will be looking to secure their first victory of the new campaign when they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Selhurst Park in the Premier League’s early kick-off this afternoon.
The Eagles’ new era under Patrick Vieira has got off to a slow start, but a promising 2-2 draw against high-flying West Ham United last time out will have given the south London club some hope coming into this one.
The arrivals of former Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard and former Watford midfielder Will Hughes late on in the transfer window should also provide a significant boost to Palace’s hopes of success this season.
“Both of them are really good on the ball with good quality,” said Vieira in Friday’s press conference.
“Edouard can play with his back against the goal, he can hold the ball, he can run in behind, and he can score goals. He is a really interesting, interesting player with good experience at the European level.”
The Palace boss was equally as complimentary about Hughes, saying: “Will; really good technically, you know, with the way we want to play, he will be an important player for us.
“He didn’t train very much in the last couple of weeks. But he did catch up quite well lately, and he is somebody that will allow us to play a little bit quicker going forward,” the former Nice boss concluded.
With that in mind, here’s how Football FanCast expects the Frenchman to line up at Selhurst Park, with Edouard making his debut for the south London outfit…
Ahead of the Spaniard is expected to be the same back four which started against both Brentford and the Hammers, with Tyrick Mitchell, Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen, and Joel Ward showing promises as a defensive unit.
The engine room is also likely to have a familiar feel despite the arrival of Hughes. Conor Gallagher excelled at the London Stadium, bagging a brace in their high-scoring draw, and should be partnered by the experienced duo of James McArthur and Cheikhou Kouyate.
It’s in attack where Vieira will have some big decisions to make. A hamstring injury picked up on international duty has ruled Jeffrey Schlupp out of action, so Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew will occupy the flanks.
However, there’s set to be a three-way tussle for the striker’s position. Jean-Philippe Mateta has struggled to make an impact since arriving on English shores, while the £8.1m-rated Christian Benteke is yet to find the back of the net this season and could therefore lose his place in the team.
That means Edouard may be in line to make his debut for Palace, leading the line against table-toppers Spurs in front of his new home supporters.