Crystal Palace are hoping they can continue their slight upwards momentum as they face a Manchester United side this evening.
It’s been a difficult year for Alan Pardew and the Eagles and with the turn of the year approaching the South London club will be hoping fortunes will change in 2017.
It hasn’t been the start to the season Palace fans thought after the club splash out close to £50 million on new players, and a six game winless run further compounded matters.
But with some positive results in their last two Premier League games many believe Palace have enough in the locker to survive in the top flight for another year.
After going on that barren run, result has picked up for the Eagles; a 3-0 home win over Southampton two weeks ago was vital and then last weekend they fought back to a 3-3 draw at the KCOM Stadium thanks to late leveller from Frazier Campbell.
But this evening they face a United team who has also struggled this season after the appointment of Jose Mourinho; but against Tottenham on Sunday they showed signs that they might be hitting their stride.
The Palace faithful will be hoping their side can exact a little bit of revenge on United, as the last time the two sides faced each other was in the FA Cup final where a extra-time goal from Jesse Lingard broke Palace’s hearts.
Injuries are rearing their ugly heads again for Pardew
It was this time last season where injuries severely affected Pardew’s side, and it looks like the curse has hit again. As both James Tomkins and Bakary Sako have been ruled out for a month, and with Jason Puncheon suspended after picking up a yellow card at Hull Pardew suddenly doesn’t have a lot to play with.
And with Connor Wickham, Steve Mandanda, Pape Souare and Loic Remy all still out the January transfer window can't come quick enough.
But in Wilfried Zaha he has a player on top of his game at the moment, and with the 24-year-old being a former United player he will hoping Zaha can replicate his stunning form from the weekend and take it into the game this evening.
Manchester United starting to pick up form
Despite struggling at the start of this season, United’s form has picked up in the past couple of weeks; they have won their last four games in all competitions and are unbeaten in their last eight games.
With key players starting to hit form, Mourinho’s side might start their charge up the table. Against Tottenham at the weekend they looked a threat and a goal from the much talked about summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan sealed the three points.
It still seems Mourinho doesn’t know he best XI, and despite injuries not helping, and with the array of attacking talent he has at his disposal they haven't hit the heights as of yet.
Team News; Valencia and Mkhitaryan missing for Mourinho
Mourinho will be without the suspended Antonio Valencia, and also the injured Mkhitaryan. Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw are both out with longer term injuries.
Michael Carrick might come back into the side to partner Ander Herrera in midfield, and other than those mentioned Mourinho has a strong squad to pick from as his side look to pick up a victory at Selhurst Park this evening.