Friday 27 Aug
Updated Saturday 28 Aug 08:32
Preview

West Ham United v Crystal Palace - All You Need To Know

Crystal Palace All You Need To Know

 

West Ham United face their first London derby of the 2021/22 campaign on Saturday when they welcome Crystal Palace to London Stadium.

Just five days after sweeping Leicester City aside 4-1 to storm to the top of the Premier League table, the Hammers will be back in front of 60,000 loud and passionate fans for what promises to be another special atmosphere.

The Hammers are seeking to score three or more goals in a fifth consecutive top-flight match, having done so in their previous four, matching a record previously set in August-September 1928.

Having won both their opening league games - and scoring eight goals in the process - the Hammers will be looking to maintain their 100 per cent start to the campaign against a Palace side who are yet to score this season.

They did earn their first point of the campaign last weekend when they drew 0-0 with Brentford, following up a tough start away at UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea, who defeated Patrick Vieira's side 3-0.

The Eagles were also involved in Carabao Cup action in midweek, but former Hammer Ashley Fletcher's goal ensured Watford would end their participation at the second round stage with a 1-0 victory.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 3pm, which means the game will not be broadcast live on television in the UK. However, if you are based overseas, you might be able to watch the game in your territory. Click here for overseas broadcast listings.

We will also be covering the game live with a blog and audio commentary on whufc.com and our Official App and across our social media channels, with goals, highlights and exclusive reaction to follow after the final whistle.

 

Ticket news 

Tickets for Saturday's game have sold out, but seats will become available as Season Ticket Holders who cannot attend relist their seats on the Ticket Exchange. Click here to buy or relist.

 

Crystal Palace Ticket Exchange

 

Matchday information

For full matchday information, including details of how digital tickets work, our Code of Conduct, travelling to and from London Stadium and much more, click here to visit the Hammers Hub.

 

Are you Match Ready? Checklist

  • Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged and that you have your matchday e-ticket, either downloaded to your smartphone or printed out, ready to scan upon entry as you approach your turnstile. For more information on ticketing options, click here.
  • Plan your journey to London Stadium and ensure you arrive early and at least one hour before kick-off
  • Follow the Supporter Code of Conduct when at the stadium
  • Ensure you have proof of your COVID-19 status: that you have been fully vaccinated or have a negative lateral flow test result in the previous 48 hours
  • Do not travel to the stadium if you feel unwell or display COVID-19 symptoms

All ticket holders will receive direct email and SMS from the Club with further information.

Visit www.whufc.com/help or @WestHamHelp for the latest information.

 

Team news

Arthur Masuaku remains the Hammers' only major injury concern, as David Moyes continues to manage his return from a knee injury.

The DR Congo international has featured in Premier League 2 action against Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion this season, and will be looking for a first team return soon.

For Crystal Palace, they are without summer signing Michael Olise, with the former Reading midfielder suffering with a back problem..

Winger Eberechi Eze is still sidelined following an Achilles injury suffered at the back end of last season, while defender Nathan Ferguson is also out. Palace captain Luka Milivojevic hasn't featured yet this term due to personal reasons

 

Taking the knee

As confirmed in a joint statement by English football's governing bodies, Premier League clubs will continue to take the knee before kick-off to protest against racism and discrimination.

The 20 Premier League clubs and players have resolved to work together against racism and all forms of discrimination. There is no place in football or society for any form of prejudice and while there have been strides made across our game, recent events have reminded us there is still much work to be done.

 

Pablo Fornals takes the knee against Leicester

 

Taking the knee is an individual choice that many players wish to make as a way of peacefully demonstrating against racism and injustice. This gesture of unity is not new, and we do not view it as an alignment to any political organisation or ideology, but rather raising the awareness of this important issue. We ask that fans respect any player that wishes to take the knee and support them in their stance against discrimination. 

While not all players will choose to express their opposition to discrimination through taking the knee, players, clubs and authorities are committed to work as a collective to address all prejudiced behaviour through the coming season and beyond.

 

The opposition – Crystal Palace

Since returning to the Premier League in 2013, Crystal Palace have been a model of mid-table consistency.

In each of the previous eight seasons, the Eagles have finished between tenth and 15th, won between eleven and 14 matches and collected between 41 and 49 points.

The south Londoners flirted with relegation on occasion, most notably in 2017, when Sam Allardyce masterminded a dramatic late-season escape from the drop, before the appointment of another former England manager, Roy Hodgson, brought about a period of calm over the previous four seasons.

With Hodgson at the helm, Palace became something of a throwback, set up in a 4-4-2 formation and relying on their wingers and individual flair and creativity to open up opposition defences.

While it worked in terms of keeping the club in the Premier League, it seemed that unless talismanic home-grown forward Wilfried Zaha was on his game, captain Luka Milivojević was converting penalties, or Andros Townsend was scoring Goal of the Season contenders, Hodgson’s team struggled to break teams down.

At other times, Crystal Palace could go on long runs without a victory, most notably at the post-lockdown end of the 2019/20 season, when they took one point from their final eight matches.

 

Patrick Vieira in the dugout

 

And so, with Hodgson deciding to stand down in May, the club has taken what some might consider a bold leap of faith – as they did by appointing Dutchman Frank de Boer for just four Premier League matches in 2017 – by replacing the 73-year-old with a man 28 years his junior, former Arsenal, Inter Milan and France midfielder Patrick Vieira. 

While he led a sparkling, trophy-filled playing career for club and country, most notably winning the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship and being part of Arsenal’s Invincibles, Vieira has relatively little top-level managerial experience.

The 45-year-old honed his coaching skills at Manchester City’s Academy before moving to the United States in 2016 as head coach of New York City FC – a club part-owned by the City Football Group.

Under Vieira’s guidance, New York City improved in each of his three seasons in charge, finishing second in the Eastern Conference in both 2016 and 2017.

In June 2018, Vieira moved home to France, taking charge at Nice, and led the club to seventh in Ligue 1 and qualification for the UEFA Europa League.

However, a five-match losing run and elimination from Europe saw him depart in December 2020, and he spent a period working in the media before returning to the dugout at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace has historically been a club that has been willing to take chances on young managers, most notably appointing Steve Coppell at the age of 28, Terry Venables at 33 and Iain Dowie at 38.

All three enjoyed success in SE25 that Vieira would undoubtedly love to emulate, while his footballing philosophy suggests his team will play more exciting, football than his predecessor Hodgson.

One of the Premier League’s most predictable teams has now become far harder to predict.

 

Previous meetings

West Ham United took four points off Crystal Palace last season, drawing 1-1 at London Stadium in December, before winning 3-2 at Selhurst Park late the following month.

The former game saw Sébastien Haller's spectacular overhead kick cancel out Christian Benteke's first half header, while in south London, the Hammers were in scintillating form on the attack.

Ultimately Tomáš Souček's brace, added to Craig Dawson's header, took David Moyes' men to victory and ensured goals from Wilfried Zaha and Michy Batshuayi counted for little.

 

Tomas Soucek celebrates scoring against Crystal Palace

 

West Ham also lead the all-time stats against the Eagles, winning 19 of the previous 44 meetings between the clubs in the Premier League, Football League and FA Cup.

Palace have won only nine, their last triumph coming at Selhurst Park on Boxing Day 2019.

The Hammers' record win over Crystal Palace came back in March 1923, when they were 5-1 victors in south London.

 

Match officials

Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistant Referees: Dan Cook and Harry Lennard
Fourth Official: Josh Smith
VAR: Graham Scott
Assistant VAR: Simon Long

Stuart Attwell began refereeing seriously following his graduation from Stafford University and worked his way up through the West Midlands League and National League before joining the Football League list of referees in 2007.

Attwell was fast-tracked, becoming the youngest-ever referee to control a Premier League fixture when he officiated Blackburn Rovers’ 1-1 draw with Hull City on 23 August 2008, and being added to the FIFA List later the same year at the age of just 26.

In 2010, Attwell officiated in the Japanese J. League as part of a referee exchange programme.

The 38-year-old has refereed West Ham United 14 times in total since April 2008.

Attwell refereed the Hammers three times in the Premier League last season, taking charge of the 2-0 home defeat by Newcastle United on the opening weekend back in September 2020, the 3-2 victory at Crystal Palace in late January and 1-0 loss to Everton in May.

 

How can I follow the game?

Kick-off on Saturday is at 3pm, which means the game will not be broadcast live on television in the UK. However, if you are based overseas, you might be able to watch the game in your territory. Click here for overseas broadcast listings.

We will also be covering the game live with a blog and audio commentary on whufc.com and our Official App and across our social media channels, with goals, highlights and exclusive reaction to follow after the final whistle.

Supporters in the UK will also be able to listen to live radio commentary on talkSPORT and BBC London.