Crystal Palace v Swansea

Ashley Williams

Barclays Premier League

Venue:
Selhurst Park
Date:
Sunday, 22 September

Crystal Palace are without midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi, who serves a one-game ban after his red card last weekend.

Fit-again duo Jerome Thomas and Jonathan Parr could be involved, but Joel Ward (calf) is set to miss out.

Swansea captain Ashley Williams is doubtful with an ankle injury that ruled him out of their win in Valencia.

Ben Davies and Jonjo Shelvey are set to return after beginning on the bench in midweek but Pablo Hernandez remains sidelined by a hamstring problem.

MATCH PREVIEW

Demolishing Valencia in their own backyard was another major landmark for Swansea but after the plaudits Michael Laudrup and his players rightly received they must now concentrate on domestic matters.

The memories from that magnificent performance in the Mestalla will linger for a long time but the edge could be taken off the occasion if Premier League points aren't taken in the less glamorous surroundings of Selhurst Park.

Few observers will be surprised to see Palace in the relegation zone after a tough start to the season but the Eagles may take inspiration by taking a peak around the door of the visiting dressing room.

It's only two years ago that Swansea were in an almost identical position, arriving in the big time via the play-offs with a squad lacking big names.

Despite a difficult start, they are now embarking on their third season at the highest level with a major trophy in the cabinet and European football to enjoy.

The way Ian Holloway's men accounted for Sunderland last month showed just how important home advantage will be for the Eagles this season. Selhurst Park is not a typical Premier League stadium these days and Palace have to make the most of the environment.

Holloway celebrated victory against the Black Cats with an impromptu jig in the technical area but we'll be denied any touchline antics this weekend as he completes a ban for complaining about the refereeing during Palace's defeat against Tottenham, which resulted from a Roberto Soldado penalty.

"My opinion doesn't count because the rules are the rules" was his more restrained view of another spot-kick decision which led to last week's 2-0 loss at Old Trafford and a red card for Kagisho Dikgacoi.

However, it's already clear the Premier League is going to be a livelier place again for Holloway's presence and you do wonder if he feels he has unfinished business - his Blackpool team were relegated with 39 points in 2011 - which would have guaranteed survival in all but one of the last 10 seasons.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Swansea are chasing a fourth consecutive win against Palace.
  • The last time they met, during the Swans' promotion-winning campaign in 2010-11, the Welsh club won both encounters 3-0.
  • Both sides have been Football League members since 1920, but this will be only the 17th league game between the sides, and the first in the top flight.

Crystal Palace

  • Victory would see Palace win back-to-back Premier League home games for the first time since January 2005, when they defeated Aston Villa (2-0) and then Tottenham (3-0).
  • They have failed to score in nine of their last 16 league games (including play-off matches), scoring 13 times in total.
  • The Eagles have lost two of their last 26 games at Selhurst Park in all competitions (to Tottenham on 18 August and Birmingham on 29 March).
  • They have only delivered four crosses successfully to team-mates this season, fewer than any other Premier League side.
  • There have been 22 penalties (14 won, eight conceded) in Crystal Palace's last 41 games in the Premier League.

Swansea City

  • A victory would mean the Swans win consecutive Premier League away games for the first time since November 2012, when they won at Newcastle (2-1) and then at Arsenal (2-0).
  • Michael Laudrup's side have lost their last five games against London opposition.
  • The Swans have conceded seven goals this season, a tally exceeded by only Sunderland (eight) prior to this weekend.

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