Crystal Palace have earned wins in their past two Premier League fixtures and could go three games unbeaten on the trot for the first time since the 2019/20 season.
The south London-based club currently sit 13th in the table and could leapfrog Leeds United when Roy Hodgson’s side travel to take on Marcelo Bielsa’s men in Monday.
Leeds, meanwhile, welcome Palace to Elland Road looking to end a poor run of form that only features two wins in their last five matches across all competitions, per Transfermarkt.
Eberechi Eze scored a sublime free-kick to mark his first goal for the Eagles the last time the two sides met, and Hodgson is likely to field a near-identical starting XI to November’s dramatic five-goal thriller against the same opponents, as they seek to build on their new-found momentum following an inconsistent start to the season.
Hodgson is optimistic that James McArthur will be available for selection having missed Tuesday night’s nail-biting win over Newcastle, and if he passes a late fitness test, then he must be granted a starting berth alongside the ever-reliable Jairo Riedewald as he will be tasked with the duty of keeping Patrick Bamford quiet when the striker drops deep.
In terms of the statistics, the numbers suggest that he should be able to do this, having kept Bamford in his back pocket for most of the game at Selhurst Park. Indeed, McArthur won five duels overall, which suggests that he managed to get the better of Bamford, who could only win one from eight attempts in total, although he did manage to get a shot away on goal to halve their lead.
Other than Tyrick Mitchell, no player in the squad records more tackles (3.2) per 90 in the Premier League than the 33-year-old Scotsman while his average number of passes (42.9) is the third-highest in the team, via WhoScored.
Therefore, should he prove his match fitness, Hodgson must ensure the £55,000-per-week earning veteran is recalled for their upcoming fixtures against Leeds and Burnley, respectively.
AND in other news, Sean Dyche could be an ideal heir to Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace…