Apr 19, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT
It’s a battle for guaranteed Premier League safety at Upton Park today, with both West Ham and Crystal Palace able to secure another season in the top flight if they manage to get all three points (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET online via Live Extra).
West Ham, currently on 37 points, are seven points clear of the drop and look unlikely to be relegated. Still, assurance of safety would be nice. Alas, the Irons need more than just a win: for a guarantee of Premier League play next season, they also need Fulham, Cardiff and Sunderland all to lose.
It’s the visitors that are more likely to secure a second consecutive season in the top flight. Tony Pulis, the man that’s never been relegated, just needs his side to get all three points – it matters not at all what other results this weekend are. And with four wins in a row for Crystal Palace, another victory certainly doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.
It’s no surprise that Pulis elects to keep his starting XI steady, making just one change from the midweek 3-2 win over Everton. Marouane Chamakh is replaced by Joe Ledley, producing the same starting lineup that beat Aston Villa last weekend. Of course, Jason Puncheon, with four goals in last three matches, gets the nod.
After the midweek defeat at Arsenal, Sam Allardyce is hoping to shake things up, making two changes to his starting lineup. George McCartney is in for Guy Demel, while Kevin Nolan replaces Antonio Nocerino, who drops to the bench once more.
West Ham United: Adrian, McCartney, Tomkins, Reid, Armero, Noble, Diame, Nolan Downing, Carroll, Jarvis
Subs: Taylor, O’Brien, Jaaskelainen, C.Cole, J.Cole, Johnson, Nocerino
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Digkacoi, Jedinak, Puncheon, Bolasie, Ledley, Jerome
Subs: Hennessey, Gabbidon, Parr, Guedioura, Ince, Gayle, Murray
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