Brentford F.C. vs Crystal Palace preview: Eagles hope to return to winning ways against free-falling Bees
Photo by Federico Maranesi/Mi News/Nur Photo - Getty Images 

Crystal Palace travel to West London on Saturday in hope of ending a run of four Premier League games without a win. Palace's trend of controlling matches this season while dropping points has been a constant this campaign, once again proving the case during Wednesday night's disappointing 1-1 stalemate at Carrow Road.

The hosts, Brentford, will be hoping to arrest a worse slide of five straight league defeats and leapfrog Palace. The Bees are not in immediate danger, however an impressive start to the season has faded into steadily increasing relegation anxiety. 

Four of Brentford's six league wins have come on home soil, while Palace only have one away league win all campaign, albeit against the champions. 

The previous and first-ever Premier League meeting between the two sides resulted in a drab 0-0 affair back in August, with both teams cancelling each other out, yet not for lack of trying. 

A win for either side would quash the nerves of fans of both clubs, while defeat would leave work to do to achieve safety. 

  • Tactical overview

After the midweek draw with Norwich City, Patrick Vieira lamented a poor start and lack of tempo. "We didn't start the game the way we planned it. We made it really difficult for ourselves and in the second half, we came back and played with more tempo and managed to create chances," he told

"We had a chance of winning the game with the penalty. Overall we can be frustrated because I believe there was a chance to win the game."

A reshuffle in midfield could lead to the long-awaited return of James McArthur, which could allow Conor Gallagher to play in a more advanced role, where he had previously been so dangerous this season. 

Vieira may opt to freshen up the Palace front three, with Jean-Philippe Mateta facing stiff competition from Odsonne Edouard and Christian Benteke for a starting spot, while Nathaniel Clyne could be favoured over Joel Ward, who struggled to contain Milot Rashica last time out. 

The Bees may welcome Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbuemo back to the starting lineup after periods out with Covid-19. Both were fit to make the bench for Wednesday's trip to the Etihad Stadium, in an encounter spent largely without the ball. 

  • Team news

Palace have a relatively clean bill of health heading into Saturday's showdown but Patrick Vieira did confirm that Nathan Ferguson had suffered a further injury setback.

Ferguson will be sidelined for five and six weeks with a hamstring injury. 

No mention was given on the availability of Cheikhou Kouyaté, however he could be in line to make his first appearance since the African Cup of Nations, potentially alongside the aforementioned James McArthur

Meanwhile for the hosts, Thomas Frank will be sweating on the availability of Brentford's leading scorer, Ivan Toney, who missed Wednesday's game with a calf injury. 

Vitaly Janelt also missed the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City with an abdominal issue, however he could return to the side. 

Tarique Fosu, Julian Jeanvier and Mathias Jørgensen are ruled out  while Christian Eriksen is unlikely to debut due to lack of match fitness. 

  • Predicted lineups

Brentford: Raya; Ajer Jansson, Pinnock; Canos, Norgaard, Onyeka, Jensen, Henry; Mbeumo, Wissa

Crystal Palace: Guaita; Ward, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell; Hughes, McArthur, Gallagher; Olise, Edouard, Zaha

The match is scheduled for kickoff at 15:00 GMT on Saturday 12th December at Brentford Community Stadium, meaning no channels are broadcasting it for TV viewing due to the 3pm blackout.

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