Brentford-Crystal Palace Preview
Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira is reluctant to discuss whether the Eagles are pursuing a deal to bring loan hero Conor Gallagher back to the club from Chelsea, ahead of their Premier League clash with Brentford to round out August.
The midfielder spent last term on a year-long loan from Chelsea at Selhurst Park and proved a key figure to success under Vieira's maiden term, winning England honours and the club's Player of the Year award.
Struggles to reintegrate at Stamford Bridge despite a string of starts under Thomas Tuchel has seen reports emerged that Palace are pushing for a permanent deal, having seen earlier attempts to retain Gallagher supposedly knocked back.
But Vieira was not letting any secrets slipped when asked ahead of his side's next match,
"It is difficult to talk about players who are (at) other football clubs," he said. "You mention Conor, (but) Conor is a Chelsea player, and until Chelsea say otherwise, there is no point for us to think about what may not be possible to do.
"We have people around the world working on trying to improve the squad. Like I said, we are short of numbers. We need players, and we will try to bring those players. If not, I am quite really happy with the players that we have, and we will try to win football matches."
Opposite number Thomas Frank, meanwhile, believes striker Ivan Toney must be knocking on the door to join Gallagher in the England fold after a remarkable start to the season.
The forward trails only Harry Kane for goals and additional involvements among English attackers, and with no clear-cut understudy to the Tottenham man following Dominic Calvert-Lewin's slide down the pecking order, plus form and injury issues for Ollie Watkins, Callum Wilson and Patrick Bamford, a spot could be up for grabs.
"Ivan has been pushing for a while," Frank stated. "This season he has two goals and two assists, two marginal offside calls against Fulham, and hit the inside of the post against Everton; those are unique numbers."
Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha
The Ivory Coast international has scored five of the club's last six Premier League goals on home turf. Since the start of last season, he has scored in 75 per cent of all their home victories as well.
Brentford – David Raya
A poor game against Fulham was corrected by a fine turn in the Bees' draw with Everton. Having won a maiden Spain cap this year, Raya will be hoping to play himself onto the plane for Qatar 2022.
- The home side hasn't lost any of the last seven league meetings between Crystal Palace and Brentford (W4 D3), with both Premier League games between the sides last season ending goalless.
- Brentford are winless in their last four away league games against Crystal Palace (D2 L2), since a 2-0 victory in March 1957.
- Crystal Palace vs Brentford could become the first fixture in English top-flight history to see the first three meetings at this level between two sides end goalless, with both games ending 0-0 in 2021-22.
- Crystal Palace have won just two of their last 19 Premier League London derbies (D8 L9), picking up 3-0 wins over both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal last season.
- Brentford have lost just one of their last 12 league games played on a Tuesday (W5 D6), though that defeat did come at Southampton in their only such game played in the Premier League. In fact, Brentford have lost all six of their Premier League games played between Monday and Thursday.
Updated August 29, 2022