Crystal Palace host Huddersfield this weekend in a clash that presents the Eagles with a perfect opportunity to right the wrongs of recent weeks – they have endured a difficult period with their defeat at the hands of Brighton compounded by their elimination from the FA Cup by Watford.
Vicente Guaita will have had sleepless nights over the international break after some questionable decision making between the sticks cost his side and the Spaniard will be put to the test again this weekend.
The former Getafe goalkeeper has been a solid addition for Palace and undoubtedly an upgrade on Wayne Hennessey, but he let himself down against the Hornets – the 32-year-old flapped at a number of crosses and was left in no-man’s land when Etienne Capoue fired the hosts ahead.
There are no questions over his shot-stopping ability – the scoreline could have been very different but for some excellent reflex saves – but his judgement when it comes to claiming crosses in particular has to be better, starting with the Terriers game on Saturday.
Jan Siewert’s side might be rock-bottom with just 14 points to their name but the Premier League is an unpredictable competition – indeed, the Yorkshire-based outfit nearly upset West Ham last time out – so Palace will need to be on top form if they are to get back to winning ways. Starting with Guaita in net.
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The £4.5m-rated ace will undoubtedly be in the wars this weekend – Huddersfield have scored more goals from set-pieces (9) than they have from open play (8) this campaign and they will feel that they can cause Guaita problems from such situations.
The Palace custodian will have to be assured when dealing with balls into the box from free-kicks and corners as this is where Huddersfield pose their biggest, and perhaps only threat..
And considering he has probably been mentally affected by his recent errors, the clash represents Guaita’s biggest challenge of the season yet. Can he bounce back?