Premier League

West Ham United-Crystal Palace Preview

Crystal Palace are hopeful of Patrick Vieira being able to return to the dug-out for Saturday's clash with West Ham.

Vieira has been absent from Palace's last two games, after the club revealed on Boxing Day that the Arsenal legend had tested positive for coronavirus.

Palace lost to Spurs in their Boxing Day fixture but responded with a 3-0 win over lowly Norwich City in midweek. They now face a London derby against West Ham to start 2022.

And it is hoped Vieira will be out of isolation and able to guide his team from the touchline.

"Patrick is very well," Palace assistant Osian Roberts told a news conference on Friday. "He has recovered well this week so crossed fingers we will wait and see what happens, but hopefully he will be with us very, very soon.

"On a day-to-day basis we are being tested, so we will wait and see what tomorrow morning brings.

"It is a possibility and obviously from our viewpoint we want him here.

"We have desperately been hoping he will be back at the helm so we are waiting to see what today, tonight and tomorrow will bring in terms of news."

West Ham beat Watford 4-1 on Tuesday, with David Moyes' side well in the mix for Champions League qualification as it stands.

The win over Watford ended a run of three league games without a win. The Hammers played all but one of their planned festive fixtures, and Moyes acknowledged it has been a tough run.

"What I would say is that I do think the amount of fixtures, especially if you're a successful club, is really tough," he said. "This Christmas period we've had three games, instead of the normal two around this period, and that's added to a feeling of too many games."

Crystal Palace - Odsonne Edouard

Odsonne Edouard has been involved in four goals in his last three Premier League games (one goal, three assists), one more than he had in his first 13 in the competition combined (three goals).

West Ham - Declan Rice

Declan Rice has established himself as one of the Premier League's best midfielders and his next top-flight appearance will be his 150th for West Ham. He will become the 17th player to reach that landmark for the club, but the youngest to do so.

- West Ham forward Michail Antonio has been involved in 11 goals in his last 12 London derby appearances in the Premier League, scoring five and assisting six.

- Said Benrahma has been directly involved in eight goals in 19 Premier League games this season (five goals, three assists), one more than he managed in 30 appearances in the competition last season (seven - one goal, six assists).

- West Ham won on New Year's Day in 2020 (4-0 v Bournemouth) and 2021 (1-0 v Everton) - they have never won three consecutive league games on January 1 before.

- Both teams have scored in each of the last nine Premier League meetings between Crystal Palace and West Ham; only three fixtures have ever seen longer such runs in the competition - Fulham v Man City (15), Newcastle v Wolves (13) and Arsenal v Chelsea (11). The team scoring first has won none of these nine meetings between the Eagles and the Hammers (D5 L4).

- Palace have won just two of their last 13 Premier League games against West Ham (D6 L5), with these victories both coming in the 2019-20 campaign.

Updated December 31, 2021

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