On Tuesday, struggling Premier League teams Crystal Palace and Sheffield United will meet at Selhurst Park, both looking to recover from conceding five goals in their previous matches.
Crystal Palace’s recent form has been poor, with just one win in their last 10 Premier League games. Fans have expressed frustration with the club ownership and management.
Despite once being known for their defensive discipline, Palace has conceded 62% of their goals this season during this 10-game run, averaging over two goals per game.
While they ended 2023 with a London derby win against Brentford, they were held at home by Everton in the FA Cup third round and lost the replay.
Questions have been raised about manager Roy Hodgson’s future, but he remains defiant and will prepare his team for the visit of Sheffield United.
Palace has won their last three Premier League games against Sheffield United, keeping clean sheets each time. Extending this streak is crucial for Hodgson to secure his position as the head coach.
Sheffield United has struggled in their visits to Selhurst Park, winning only one of their last six league matches there.
They have also suffered from poor away form, losing 16 of their last 19 top-flight away games and scoring only seven goals in the process.
Although Sheffield United started 2024 with a 4-0 win against Gillingham in the FA Cup, they failed to win their next two matches.
New signing Ben Brereton Diaz scored on his Premier League debut, but it took a late equalizer to salvage a point against West Ham United. They then suffered a heavy home defeat.
Defensive issues are a major concern for Sheffield United, as they have conceded the most goals in the Premier League this season (51). Their attacking performance has also been lacking.
Crystal Palace will be without several players due to injuries, including Michael Olise, Rob Holding, Cheick Doucoure, and Joel Ward.
However, Jordan Ayew is available again after Ghana’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign. Odsonne Edouard, their top league scorer this season, is back from injury and ready to start.
Sheffield United will likely rely on Ben Brereton Diaz for attacking inspiration. William Osula and Cameron Archer could also be involved in the final third.
Rhian Brewster is serving a suspension, while long-term absentees John Egan and Chris Basham remain unavailable.
Yasser Larouci and Anis Ben Slimane have returned from the Africa Cup of Nations, and Max Lowe and Tom Davies may make the bench after recovering from injuries.
Crystal Palace: (4-4-2)
Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell;
Eze, Richards, Lerma, Schlupp;
Sheffield United: (4-5-1)
Bogle, Ahmedhodzic, Robinson, Trusty;
McAtee, Osborn, Souza, Hamer, Brereton Diaz;
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Sheffield United
Expect an intense match with both teams fighting for survival. Given their defensive vulnerabilities, a draw seems likely at Selhurst Park, leading to further frustration for the Crystal Palace fans.