Our live stream ahead of Saturdays Premier League match, Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United is now up, kicking off at 15.00 GMT
You can keep an eye on the commentary as it happens below, but first, we take a preview into the fixture, lineups, predictions and much more…
Crystal Palace’s winless run in the Premier League stretched to five matches against Leicester, Hodgson will no doubt be pleased with the manner of his side’s performance against the Champions League hopefuls.
The Foxes named a weakened team and went behind just before the hour mark as Wilfried Zaha bagged his eighth goal of the campaign – with Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho having already seen his penalty saved by Vicente Guaita – but the effervescent Harvey Barnes ensured that Palace would not be taking the spoils as the game ended 1-1.
The Eagles faithful will certainly welcome that result after two downright dismal performances against Liverpool and Aston Villa, although this weekend’s hosts can only boast one triumph from their last seven and are slowly slipping closer to the danger zone.
Eight points separate 15th-placed Palace from the dotted line as things stand, although Fulham do have a game in hand after their midweek clash with Tottenham Hotspur was postponed, and Hodgson’s men will temporarily rise above Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United should they prevail against an out-of-sorts Sheffield United.
Despite COVID-19 outbreaks up and down the country forcing matches to be postponed, Sheffield United’s fixture with Burnley continued as planned, but Wilder’s men once again came out on the wrong end of the scoreline in an all-too familiar sight this season.
Ben Mee – the man who hardly ever scores – headed in the only goal of the game at Turf Moor just after the half-hour mark, although Wilder refused to blame the Blades’ coronavirus cluster for their 14th defeat of the Premier League season.
As the only team yet to taste victory in the current Premier League season, Wilder’s side find themselves 11 points adrift of safety as the season approaches its midway point, and the eight goals that Sheffield United have notched up is the lowest in the top flight.
Palace and Sheffield United last met in February, with the Blades winning 1-0 away from home at Selhurst Park…
More confident against the Blades this season?
“I certainly remember the two defeats at the hands of a Sheffield United team last year that were sweeping all before them. What has surprised me is I see the same Sheffield United team [this year] that I saw last year.”
“That is one of the anomalies of football: one year a group of players playing the football they play can enjoy the success Sheffield United have and this year of course they’re rooted to the bottom of the table having been able to manage two points.”
“As far as I’m concerned we’re facing a team who are very difficult to beat. We’re much more used to going into a game as underdogs… they have every bit as much of a chance, Sheffield United, of winning the game.”
“It will be a question of which team can produce the best football and best performance tomorrow [Saturday, 2nd January]. Where they are in the table has no relevance tomorrow because you start at 0-0 and start from scratch.”
Draw with Leicester boosted confidence?
“We all know football matches either boost confidence or reduce it. If you get a heavy defeat it doesn’t do your confidence any good irrespective of how justified the result was.”
“It’s part and parcel of football and one of the most important qualities a footballer can have is understanding there will be good days and bad days and you have to deal with both.”
“We won’t have anyone back for the weekend who missed out at Burnley, and there’s one or two knocks which we picked up at Turf Moor on Tuesday, so we are waiting on them”
Another unwanted record, longest winless run, does it play on your mind?
“I would rather we weren’t and it’s not something I am jumping through hoops about”
Does it affect belief?
“Of course it does, if you are not winning games and what we are up against in this division – it’s a tough division to play in at the best of times when at the top of your game but when you’re not and you have a few players missing it’s tough but it comes with the territory, media exposure and opinion, but I don’t get too up myself when we win and it hurts when we don’t”
Players don’t want tag of worst team?
“Don’t worry about records or what you guys say what will be will be at the end of the season and you just have to look at the next game, you can’t hide away from it and we are not and we just have to look to the next opportunity of trying to get a result.”
“Few of our performances have been different to last year but fine margins and that’s where we are at the moment.”
View on coronavirus in football at moment?
“We had a situation during the week, a couple of the players tested positive and a couple had to go to Manchester Airport from Burnley to get a test.”
“Fortunately, they came back negative, had it come back positive we would have had a situation with other boys in contact with those – thankfully we weren’t and we played the game on Tuesday night.”
“My overall view is that it’s a different situation to when we came into the pandemic and it’s ramped up enormously.”
“The speed has changed the situation in the country but as always we will play with a straight bat and do what the PL wants us to do.”
In favour of a pause?
“No, just crack on. I am a football man and I want to come to work and play football.”
“I know I am fortunate that I want to work and not everyone has that – the team wants to play and I am not going to get dragged in to what should happen and shouldn’t”
Sander Berge and O’Connell rehab latest?
“Sander had an operation on the tendon in his hamstring and in early part of his recovery and Jack is on a mini break at the moment because he’s worked extremely hard, but not for long and he’ll be back to crack on and hopefully the sight of JOC at Shirecliffe will be a huge boost to us all.”
January transfer window next week, any players in?
“From my point of view I have passed the names on and it’s now a level above me. We need in my opinion to make the group better and it’s over to the CEO and the board to make that decision and pursue the targets we are looking at.”
Harder to get players in based on position in the table?
“From a foreign point of view most certainly, but not domestically because I believe if bring a player in on loan domestically he will understand the team and the stats and although there is one stat that is not pleasing on the eye, the others of how we play and how close we are to wins, they will see that those players have nothing to lose.”
“He doesn’t come in as a permanent signing and has nothing to lose but everything to gain in affecting the team’s performance and affect the team’s results.”
“I should imagine the player’s ambition as a loan player is to play as many games as possible and I believe that will be an attraction.”
Crystal Palace up next
“I saw a stat this week about how they have not finished in the top 10 – that just shows you how difficult this league is because they are an established club with a fabulous manager and some really experienced players, established internationals and some good players at the top of the pitch.”
“They were tight games last year and we have been on the receiving end of tight games this season – last season’s matches all three results could have happened – they get the job done a solid club and Roy deserves a lot of credit.”
Can you see yourself managing like Roy in 20 years’ time?
“Absolutely not, I don’t know how he does it.”
“He’s managed his country, managed abroad in the PL, won things, achieved things and relatively achieving now at an experienced age.”
“He’s a really nice guy, he knows how tough the game is, so for him to still be managing at the PL shows his qualities on a number of fronts.”
Teams above only a few wins, can you claw them in?
“Absolutely, got to keep chipping away at it, four and half months still to go.”
“You can chip away at it, but you have to start now and that has to be our aim. You have seen what happens with a couple of back-to-back wins, it changes everything that’s what we are trying to do and then we will work off that.”
More tests today, could game be in doubt?
“I don’t know until the results come back – I wouldn’t be surprised.”
“It’s starting to grow now and I am not sure it’s going to get better. I would not be surprised if more positive tests over next round of testing”
Crystal Palace Premier League form: WDDLLD
Sheffield United Premier League form: LLLDLL
Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Clyne, Kouyate, Tomkins, Van Aanholt; Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, Eze; Zaha, Benteke
Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Basham, Egan, Robinson; Baldock, Fleck, Ampadu, Stevens; Burke, Mousset, Brewster
Crystal Palace to Win – Evens with FanTeam
Heading into their 16th league game of the season, Sheffield United are still in search of their first win. The Blades have established a bad habit of narrow defeats in recent weeks and could be a similar story once again.
Crystal Palace’s poor form perhaps contributes to the kind odds for this one. Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha combined well for their opener against Leicester and could cause the Blades issues.
Time to take a look at our Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United live match stream as it happens…