Middlesbrough v Crystal Palace Preview: Pardew's side head to the North East for illusive first win

Crystal Palace travel to newly promoted Middlesbrough hoping to kick start their season after the international break.

Stuttering start

A late Scott Dann header secured the Eagles a point in their last match at home to Bournemouth, making sure Palace didn't return from the international fixtures on the back of three defeats out of three. 

Scott Dann's
Scott Dann's goal against Bournemouth made him the highest scoring defender since the start of the 2015/16 season with six goals. Photo: Mirror.co.uk

Ahead of this weekend’s fixture, manager Alan Pardew spoke about the importance of momentum for a team searching for a victory, and he said that "getting a win early would be good for us".

This may be a tough fixture for the Eagles to find that illusive win. They are yet to win a league fixture against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, with their last in win any competition against 'Boro coming back in 1994.

Another defeat for Pardew’s men would see them equalling an unwanted club record of five successive defeats away from home in the Premier League

Team News

The home side will welcome back full-back George Friend, midfielder Marten de Roon and experienced goalkeeper Victor Valdes, with all three fit after missing the final fixture before the international break.  

One summer signing who won’t be available is on-loan French Striker Loic Remy, who has returned to parent Chelsea for treatment on a thigh injury. The 29-year-old is expected to be out for eight weeks.

Jonathan Benteke, brother of fellow Eagles striker Christian Benteke, could make his debut alongside his older brother having travelled with the squad for the first time since signing for the club on a free transfer. 

Mid-week signing Mathieu Flamini could also feature for the first time in Palace colours. 

Middlesbrough have enjoyed a positive return to the top division so far. After drawing to Stoke City at home on the opening day, they secure their first away victory against Sunderland and drew 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion before the international break. 

A record equalling result?

A win this weekend would represent more than just three points for Boro, as it would mean they would be unbeaten in their first four fixtures of a top division season for the first time since the 1976/1977 season. 

Ahead of the Saturday’s game, manager Aitor Karanka said he believes that this will be a difficult game for his side even though their opponents are in a poor run form, because "they will be doing everything to add points"

Main men 

Summer signing Alvaro Negredo has been a key part of his side strong start, the Spanish forward, known as ‘the Beast’, has been involved in all three of Boro’s goals this season, finding the net once and acting as provider twice. 

Meanwhile, the more renowned Benteke is still searching for his first goal having failed to hit the back of the net in his first two outings. However, the £32 million remains Palace's star man and goals will soon flow.