Crystal Palace host Fulham at Selhurst Park in a Premier League London derby. The Eagles will be looking to build from their hard-fought win against bitter rivals, Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Eagles were on a slide losing two of their last three games to bottom-half opposition until they showed character and determination to put Brighton to the sword with a 2-1 victory. A clever back-heeled effort from Jean-Philippe Mateta opened the scoring before Joel Veltman equalised from close range.
Palace were on the back foot for most of the game but showed resilience to shut out Brighton's attack and score a last-gasp winner thanks to Christian Benteke's impeccable volley from a tight angle.
Last time out, Fulham won 1-0 against struggling Sheffield United, sealing their fourth consecutive league game without defeat. Palace will be keen to make sure that Fulham do not get number five but that will not be easy.
Roy Hodgson offers a positive update to the squad with Wilfried Zaha close to returning to first-team action and could be available by the end of next week.
Jeffrey Schlupp and Connor Wickham took part in training this week but the pair could not join in with the intensive sessions so they will have to wait longer for a return.
Nathaniel Clyne is ruled out for Sunday's game against Fulham with a minor muscle injury whilst James Tomkins' season could be over with the centre-back suffering from a fractured eye socket sustained in training.
As for Fulham, Aleksandar Mitrovic is back in training after recovering from COVID-19 with Kenny Tete pushing for a recall but Scott Parker is unlike to change the team.
After a spell out of the side, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa returned with a man of the match display against the Blades. The Cameroon international should keep his place in the side.
Crystal Palace possible XI: Vicente Guaita; Joel Ward, Cheikhou Kouyate, Gary Cahill, Tyrick Mitchell; Jordan Ayew, Luka Milivojevic, Jairo Riedewald, Andros Townsend; Benteke, Mateta.
Fulham possible XI: Alphonse Areola; Ola Aina, Joachim Andersen, Tosin Adarabioyo, Antonee Robinson; Harrison Reed, Zambo Anguissa; Ivan Cavaleiro, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ademola Lookman; Josh Maja.
Palace have lost twice and won three in five games whereas Fulham, have lost once, drawn twice and won twice in five games. The team by the Thames are the form side coming into this one and the Eagles had lost two on the bounce before Benteke rescued three points.
The Eagles are underachieving this season considering their current squad sitting in 13th place and you can say the same for Fulham who would have hoped to be higher in the table at this stage as well.
Both sides want to improve their current positions and it will be interesting to see the clash between Hodgson and Parker who share fond memories with one another from their England international days.
Ones to watch
Crystal Palace - Christian Benteke
The Belgian international will have the world of confidence after his stunning volley in the dying minutes of the Brighton game secured a vital three points and bragging rights for another season.
Anyone who can produce an effort like that with the last kick of the game has to have quality and Benteke provides that for Palace this season with his impressive aerial ability and clever link-up play.
Andersen and Adarabioyo have to be wary of Benteke because as soon as he gets in the air, he is one of the best in the business.
Fulham - Ademola Lookman
The former Everton winger was unlucky to not find his feet in Merseyside but he is certainly becoming one of Fulham's most important players this season.
After his embarrassing attempt at a panenka earlier in the season, Lookman looked as if his season was going to decline rapidly but he has turned it around ten-fold.
His pace and trickery can hurt most defenders in the Premier League and Ward will have to be on his toes all game if he is to prevent Lookman from causing damage to the Palace defence.
Fulham 1-2 Crystal Palace (24/10/20)
A week before Halloween, both sides met at Craven Cottage for the first time since Schlupp and Zaha's goals condemned the hosts to a 2-0 defeat at the beginning of the 2018/19 season.
It started off as a horror show for Fulham as Zaha's reverse pass found Riedewald whose perfectly timed run was rewarded with a fine finish from the Dutchman to score his first goal for the club.
The hosts started to come back into the game when Robinson found Mitrovic who laid the ball off wonderfully to Lookman whose near-post shot almost caught out Guaita. The post was the Spaniard's saviour on that occasion.
Lookman was the threat for Fulham and he came agonisingly close again when his effort struck the outside of the far post before Mitrovic blazed his rebound over the bar.
Rued chances would haunt the hosts as Palace punished Fulham by doubling their lead. Townsend played an excellent through ball to Michy Batshuayi, who squared a lovely pass to the onrushing Zaha, who tapped home, colliding with the post in the process.
Shortly after, Aboubakar Kamara was sent off for a second bookable offence not long after he came on before Tom Cairney scored a consolation goal from distance in the last minutes of injury-time.
Where to watch on TV
The match will be televised for free on BBC One. Those with a valid TV licence can watch the match for free online via the BBC iPlayer or via all TV screens.
What the managers have said
Crystal Palace - Roy Hodgson
According to cpfc.co.uk, Hodgson discussed Mateta, Benteke, the nature of the Brighton win and Fulham's confidence in his press conference.
Nature of the Brighton win: "In particular, I thought the desire and the spirit and the confidence to do what we asked them to do, to keep Brighton at bay, was really good to see.
"I’d be wrong to try and play that down. The atmosphere after the game, the player’s awareness that they had had to work so hard to come away with those three points. The nature of winning those three points with the last kick of the game."
On Mateta and Benteke: “I think it will do a lot for [Mateta’s] confidence going forwards. That’s a word I often mention to the players, and to get confidence you need to do what he did the other night.
“The same applies to Christian Benteke. One expects goalscorers to get confidence from those matters. It’s also good when the fans watch the goal and really appreciate the goal, and start taking the players to heart."
On Fulham's confidence: “The coaching staff and the manager Scott [Parker] have obviously done a really good job in improving the side from the team that we met at the start of the season.
"Six points from nine; if you look at the form table over the last couple of months I would think they would be right up at the top rather than at the bottom, but of course they’re playing catch-up."
Fulham - Scott Parker
According to fulhamfc.com, Parker discussed his admiration for Hodgson and Fulham's recent form.
Admiration for Hodgson: “He’s a very good man, Roy. His personal skills, the way he is as a human being, in terms of his relationship with the players, is very good as well.
“I’ve nothing but admiration and respect for Roy. I played under Roy with England, and I know the detail, and how well organised his teams are, and I think you see that in this Palace team.
“At times they’ve been very good this year and picked up some really good results, so it will be a tough game for us at the weekend, we understand that."
On Fulham's recent form: “My message has been very consistent throughout this season and it remains the same.
“We can’t control what others are doing. We’ve all seen over the course of the season that teams who put runs together can get themselves out of positions. That’s our main focus.
“We’ve come out of a busy schedule last week where we got some points on the board and did very, very well, and that’s the main aim going forward."
Palace were undeserved winners against Brighton on Monday but Hodgson will not care about that one bit. The Eagles had two touches in the Brighton penalty area all game and scored from both to secure three points. The Eagles are now 10 points clear of the drop and won without Zaha which will give them confidence going into Sunday's game.
Fulham are now unbeaten in four league matches and have won twice in that time. They head into the weekend only three points from safety and they will want to climb out of the relegation zone as soon as possible whilst they are winning games.
Palace have won the last three Premier League games between the two sides but Fulham are in the right attitude to end that run. It will be close between these two teams but Palace will just edge it here and build on their performance from Monday.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-0 Fulham