Crystal Palace are yet to find their first win under their new boss Sam Allardyce. They had a terrible 2016 under Alan Pardew and were statistically the worst side in England’s top five divisions. Big Sam was brought in to stave off relegation the threat but he has not managed the kind of start that was expected of him.
His reign started with a 1-1 draw against Watford but the next two games against Arsenal and Swansea ended in defeats. The Eagles have a pretty decent draw to start their FA Cup campaign as they lock horns with League One high flyers Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
Big Sam will be back at the club he used to manage and will hope to get his first win in charge of Crystal Palace against his former employers. If the desperation for a win was not this much, he probably would have gone for rotations in the lineup but at the moment, we expect him to use a full strength side. Here is the predicted Crystal Palace lineup against Bolton.
With first-choice keeper Steve Mandanda out with a knee injury, Wayne Hennessey will keep his place between the sticks. Martin Kelly will keep his place at right-back. Skipper Scott Dann could miss with injury once again which means James Tomkins and Damien Delaney will start at the heart of defence. Joel Ward will start at left-back. Big Sam will demand a much better showing from his back four in this game after a poor performance against Swansea last time out.
With James McArthur out injured, Joe Ledley should continue in the middle of the park. Mathieu Flamini is expected to sit out. Yohan Cabaye should keep his place in the middle of the park. Jordan Mutch used to struggle for opportunities under Pardew but since Big Sam came to the helm, he has got already got a few chances to prove his worth from the bench. We expect the 25-year-old to start in the number ten role.
Wilfred Zaha has easily been the best player for the Eagles this season. Now that the winger has gone to Africa to represent Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations, he will be sorely missed by the Eagles. We expect Jason Puncheon to start on the right flank. Andros Townsend will start on the left. Christian Benteke is expected to start up front and will be looking to put an end to his frustrating form of late.