Crystal Palace are yet to win a game this season under Patrick Vieira, but the former France and Arsenal legend brought the jubilation back to some extent when his side came back twice from behind against high-flying West Ham United to settle for a draw at London Stadium. The Eagles are now gearing up for another London derby, this time at Selhurst Park versus league leaders Tottenham Hotspur.
Vieira knocked Spurs off many a time in the famous North London derby during his glorious realm as the Gunners skipper. But the challenge would be sterner this weekend as he is yet to find the rhythm since replacing Roy Hodgson as Palace chief. Surprisingly, they have only encountered London sides so far this term and the successive stalemates against Brentford and the Hammers exhibit their fighting spirit following a disappointing opening gameweek defeat versus Chelsea.
Predicted 4-3-3 Crystal Palace Lineup To Face Tottenham Hotspur
Vicente Guaita completed a Bosman move from Getafe three years back. The 34-year-old Spaniard has been immense ever since and should keep on protecting the Eagles between the sticks.
The gaffer is relying on Joel Ward as the right fullback ahead of Nathaniel Clyne and Martin Kelly, whereas promising Tyrick Mitchell should continue to feature as a left-back having progressed through the youth ranks. A new central defensive pairing of Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi is being preferred over the experienced James Tomkins and Jaïro Riedewald.
Palace have a few injury absentees in the middle of the park with Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze potentially ruled out for the Spurs clash. Luka Milivojevic might make it to the squad, but the stability offered by James McArthur and Cheikhou Kouyaté must not be compromised in such a high-profile fixture. All eyes would be on the Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher whose brace earned them a point against the mighty Irons. Although the arrival of Will Hughes should add depth as well as quality in the centre of the pitch, the ex-Watford playmaker is unlikely to start straightway on Saturday lunchtime.
Ex-Celtic hitman Odsonne Édouard is an exciting inclusion high up the pitch, but the Hoops’ ‘French Eddie’ might only make it among the substitutes for the time being. Versatile Wilfried Zaha remains the assured starter in the attacking third and should be deployed from the right to make way for Jeffrey Schlupp down the left-hand flank. The Ghanaian must get the nod over his compatriot Jordan Ayew for the pace and power he injects high up the pitch. The resurgence of Christian Benteke is a welcome boost and the big Belgian is expected to lead the line once more in search of his first goal of the 2021-22 season.