On September 24th, 2016 Crystal Palace, then managed by Alan Pardew, won at Sunderland 2-3 with goals from Joe Ledley, James McArthur, and Christian Benteke. Benteke’s winner came in the 90 + 4th minute. Jermain Defoe, now in Scotland with Rangers scored both Sunderland goals.
Wilfred Zaha missed that game and until December 15th, 2019, when Palace beat Leicester 1-0 at the Selhurst Park thanks to a 39th minute goal by skipper Luka Milivojevic, Palace lost all games Zaha missed through injury or unavailability. That’s a total of 12 games. This season he’s missed 3. Home defeats to Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur plus that Leicester game.
Zaha Sees Red at St. Mary’s in Relegation Battle
During Wednesday night’s clash with Southampton Zaha put Palace in front in the 41st minute. James Ward-Prowse equalised in the in the 77th. Ten minutes later the pair clashed and Zaha received 2 yellow cards for unsportsmanlike conduct. Referee Andre Marriner didn’t take kindly to Zaha applauding his decision and sent him for an early bath. Palace held on for a point.
5 Reasons Why Fulham could win at Selhurst Park!
1. Wilfred Zaha: Misses out through suspension and, even Palace overcame their failure to win without Zaha against Leicester in December; they could struggle with their talisman sat in the stands.
2. Andros Townsend: There is no doubt, Townsend’s scores special goals, as he did during Palaces 2-3 win at Manchester City. But he’s a 4 goal maximum per season player. In 2015/16 he managed 4 for Newcastle. The following season he fired in 3 for Crystal Palace and 2 more the next season. This season he has 4 already. He’s reached his quota.
3. Aleksandar Mitrović: Fulham’s Serbian hitman grabbed a couple in Tuesday’s dramatic 4-2 against Brighton and is proving well worth his £22M transfer fee. With 10 Barclays Premier League goals, he’s joint 5th in the top scorer table. He leads the most shots table with 85, 8 ahead of Harry Kane, he’s hit the woodwork 4 times, and in the missed big chances table he’s in joint 7th place. He’s one who has a go and takes no prisoners!
4. Ryan Babel: Fulham’s recent transfer window singing. Babel spent 4 seasons with Liverpool playing 91 games and scoring 12 goals. At 32 the Dutch midfielder has a lot of experience and his goalscoring ratio improved in Turkey with Beşiktaş where he managed 22 in 62 games.
5. Claudio Ranieri: Fulham boss Ranieri will be bubbling after his team’s impressive victory over Brighton and he will be looking for more of the same here.