West Brom vs Crystal Palace preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted line-ups and ones to watch
Sam Johnstone of West Bromwich Albion and Daniell Furlong of West Bromwich Albion celebrate following their team's victory in the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United at The Hawthorns on November 28, 2020 in West Bromwich, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Andrew Boyers - Pool/Getty Images)

West Bromwich Albion will be looking for back-to-back Premier League wins when they face Crystal Palace on Sunday. 

The hosts picked up their first victory of the league season last weekend, with a goal from Connor Gallagher separating themselves and strugglers Sheffield United.

However, with Fulham picking up three points against Champions League hopefuls Leicester City, the Baggies' still occupy a space in the Premier League relegation zone. 

Palace have endured an indifferent start to the season, winning four and losing five of their opening 10 games, with back-to-back defeats against Burnley and Newcastle seeing them drop to 15th in the table.

  • Team News 

West Brom will be forced into at least one alteration from the side that won last weekend, with left-back Connor Townsend suffering a knee injury that will force him out for the rest of the year.

The home side have been bolstered by the return of both Kieran Gibbs and Jake Livermore, who are now both available after a spell of self-isolation. 

Palace have missed key man Wilfred Zaha in recent weeks due to a positive COVID-19 test, but the Ivorian is now allowed to return and is likely to go straight into the team.

Club captain Luka Milivojevic is also available after serving a three-game ban, with a red card against Wolverhampton Wanderers seeing him miss recent games against Leeds United, Burnley, and Newcastle.

The away side are not without absentees, though, with Martin Kelly, Wayne Hennessey, Nathan Ferguson, and Connor Wickham all sidelined. 

  • Predicted line-ups

West Brom: Johnstone, Gibbs, Bartley, Ivanovic, Ajayi, Furlong, Gallagher, Sawyers, Pereira, Robinson, Grant

Crystal Palace: Guaita, van Aanholt, Cahill, Dann, Clyne, Eze, Milivojevic, Kouyate, Townsend, Zaha, Ayew

  • Ones to watch

West Brom - Karlan Grant 

Despite only scoring once in his opening six games for the Albion, Karlan Grant is still the man with the key to unlocking the Palace defence.

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Signing from Championship outfit Huddersfield in the most recent transfer window, the Englishman is adept at finding space both  in-between and behind the opposition defenders.

This fits well with an Eagles side who have struggled when it comes to keeping clean sheets. 

With their only league shutout coming on the opening day of the season, the Baggies' will be hopeful of profiting from defensive mishaps, with all three of the last goals coming from one of the two centre-backs being dragged out of position and leaving space inside their own box.

 Crystal Palace - Wilfried Zaha

 Returning after missing the previous two games, Zaha will be part of a front two spearheading the Eagles' attack.

Palace have found it difficult to score without the former Manchester United attacker, with the London side blanking in the back-to-back games that he missed for the first time this season.

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Utilised down the middle by Roy Hodgson this season, the 28-year-old has already matched his goal contributing output from last season this campaign, either scoring or assisting seven goals in eight games. 

  • Last time out 

In the last meeting between the sides back in 2018, a brace for Andros Towsend and a strike from Patrick van Aanholt saw Palace ease past West Brom in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

The Baggies' have struggled against the Eagles in recent years, winning just once in the last five domestic games, with the victory coming back in 2016.

  • Key Quotes 

Despite losing three of their last four games, Slaven Bilic insisted that Palace will be a dangerous team to face, highlighting their attacking quality as a particular threat.

"Their forwards are players who have so much skill, so much flair and so much pace," said the Croatian.

He added: "We know that it will have to be a team effort to stop them. It will be difficult to stop their attacking players one against one, so we have to give a proper team effort and sacrifice to stop their threat which will give us a better chance of winning the game."

The former West Ham manager concluded: "It’s important to try and win, just like we did last weekend. A second consecutive victory would be huge for us, but we know that Palace isn’t an easy game."

In the away dugout, Hodgson was full of praise for his former side.

"I’m expecting confidence because they played well and got a victory, it’s always nice to be working off that. It’s an away game - no fans, but it’s still away. They know what the Hawthorns is like and we don’t."

The 73-year-old also told the media: “I’m expecting a good performance from them, no letting up in their desire to win or run a lot to get that win and we must be prepared for it.”

  • Where to watch 

The game is scheduled to kick off at 12:00 BST on December 6, and will be shown on Sky Sports Main Event and Premier League. 

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