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Watford had begun to showcase an admirable sense of defensive resolve under Roy Hodgson, but Palace paid no attention to the Hornets’ improved resilience as they ran riot at Vicarage Road to humble their London counterparts in a 4-1 romping.
Conor Gallagher unsurprisingly returned to the starting XI with a bang to record his eighth goal of the season after Moussa Sissoko and Jean-Philippe Mateta‘s efforts, and a well-taken second-half brace from Wilfried Zaha wrapped up the three points in emphatic fashion.
Hopes were not high across the entire Eagles fanbase before Wednesday’s game given their side’s six-game winless run in the Premier League, but Palace have now jumped to 11th in the table after the midweek win – three behind Southampton having played a game more.
Maintaining their mid-table standing will be the minimum for Patrick Vieira as the season enters its business end, but produce showings as clinical as they did at Vicarage Road and a top-half finish is certainly not out of the question.
However, Crystal Palace welcome Burnley to Selhurst Park having lost their last three in the league at home – albeit against West Ham United, Chelsea and Liverpool – and Dyche’s side have started to turn heads in the past couple of weeks.
Having managed to boost their survival hopes at the expense of Spurs’ Champions League aspirations, Burnley ought to be grateful to Palace for doing them a favour at Watford, as the Clarets have now risen above Hodgson’s side into 18th place.
Only two points now separate Burnley from their safety of 17th position – where Newcastle United have played a game more – but with only one win and 19 goals conceded away from home, the Clarets cannot expect to travel to Selhurst Park as favourites.
Two successive wins and clean sheets at least represents the best period of Burnley’s season so far, and they are unbeaten in four against Crystal Palace after playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw with their upcoming hosts at Turf Moor back in November.
Crystal Palace did not pick up any fresh injury worries in the Watford win but still have concerns over Nathan Ferguson, Vicente Guaita and Joel Ward ahead of Saturday.
Guaita’s knee injury kept him out of Wednesday’s game entirely, so Jack Butland should be handed the gloves again as Nathaniel Clyne continues at right-back in place of Ward, who is yet to recover from a knock.
Having repaid Vieira’s faith in him with the opening goal against Watford – albeit a deflected one – Mateta ought to keep Odsonne Edouard and Christian Benteke out of the team once more.
As for Burnley, James Tarkowski was fit enough to return to the backline against Tottenham, and fellow COVID-19 victim Ashley Westwood could also return to the squad here.
Dyche is also sweating over the fitness of Maxwel Cornet after the Ivory Coast man’s Achilles issue kept him out of Wednesday’s win, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Matej Vydra remain out of action.
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Charlie Taylor might be fit enough to return to the squad on Saturday, but Dyche is unlikely to consider many changes from the Spurs victory, unless Cornet is fit enough to displace Jay Rodriguez up front.
Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Butland; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; McArthur, Kouyate, Gallagher; Olise, Mateta, Zaha
Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Roberts, Mee, Tarkowski, Pieters; Lennon, Cork, Brownhill, McNeil; Weghorst, Cornet