Crystal Palace vs. Forest preview..

After a tricky start to the season with three league defeats this was looking like a tasty trip, but Dougie Freedman’s side have enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence in form of late with wins first against Sheffield Wednesday before the International Break and then followed up with a derby day win over Charlton at The Valley on Friday evening.

It makes them a team that so far has specialised in extremities – three defeats, two wins, no draws – contrast that with us, we are not-losing specialists with two wins, three draws and no defeats.  Sky Bet have us as slight favourites (6/4 vs 7/4) with odds of 23/10 being offered for the draw – so they’re expecting a winner on the night it would seem!

We’ve no fresh injury worries coming into this match – Simon Cox was the obvious weekend worry, but his performance from the bench to help us come back from 2-0 down to secure a point will have been heartening for Sean O’Driscoll, and continues the former West Brom striker’s record of either scoring or making a goal in every appearance he’s made for us.

I can never make my mind up about Crystal Palace – they looked destined to struggle, but seem to specialise in pulling the unexpected out of the bag.  Obviously any side including the much-coveted Wilfried Zaha  shouldn’t be written off, and the addition of (childish snigger) Goodwillie on loan from Blackburn should give them added potency up front.

So far SO’D has been resistant to wholesale tinkering, and I think that’s appropriate – although with a game in such quick succession with some players looking a little leggy against Birmingham I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few changes.  It would be surprising to not see Cox starting, probably in place of Blackstock, and perhaps Coppinger in place of Guedioura.

This is my first radio-bound match of the season – the Tuesday afternoon trek to South London was too much of a test of my resolve.  I am sad not to be going in some ways, but Selhurst Park really is the most awful place to get to at the best of times – and Tuesday night certainly isn’t one of those!  Best of luck to those of you travelling!

It would be nice to see us register three points on the road having been unlucky not to do so as yet, but as I’m sure the gaffer is aware, Palace ain’t going to be pushovers.

6 Responses

  1. All I ask tomorrow eve is that SO’D’s formation doesn’t trigger the midfield congestion than marred Saturday’s first-half. I fear that our esteemed manager needs to choose between Pep and Gillett in order to facilitate width on the right. (trouble is, no natural right winger!). I wonder if Radi may return somehow: I seem to recall our favourite Pole dancing through for a hat-trick on our last visit to Selhurst…!

    • I agree 100%.

      But I think once Lansbury is fit the right midfield berth will be his, with Lewis and Pep fighting it out for the middle spot. I have to say I don’t think Pep is influencing games like he did last season but this is purely a positional issue. He does drift towards the centre hence his substitution Saturday to let Halford loose to fly forward on the right.

      Can’t see Gillett losing out on the holding role due to his resounding start to the season.

      Nice dilemma for SO’D to have.

      Mind you being away, maybe he reverts to one up top???

  2. 1st match of the season for me and just 5 miles away!

  3. same for me smeghead(!) and 6 miles away. Having sacked the missus from coming – too many losses whenever she came along, I’m bringing a good mate who in 44 years has never been to a football game.

  4. Living 12000miles away it will be a little difficult to get to any games but am optimistic that when I return to Nottingham next year I will be able to see my team on the up.I live in a small town 50 miles north of Auckland but as far as I know we have 2 Palace,1 leeds,2 Derby and 1 more reds supporter not bad in a population of 3000. The reds supporters branch are quietly optimistic of a win and from your reports so far (as good as ever) we are betting $10 dollars on a win with our local palace rivals.
    I like the fact that he had a plan B on saturday and went for it. not seen that happen since Megson who always had plan B C D E etc and used them all at different times all the way through the game.I like you will listen to match on radio so am looking forward to it which is more than can be said for last season. What a difference 6mths make.

    2-1 my prediction with Sharp and Cox to score


  5. Thanks George! I think you’re maybe right: seems as if ‘Pep’ will ‘drop to the bench’ (as modern commentators say) when Lansbury is fit, leaving a midfield of Lansbury, Gillett, McGugan and Reid.

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