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Premier League

  • February 8, 2014
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Selhurst Park, London
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 24501

Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace - West Brom

Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace - West Brom

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A trio of Palace players were not eligible to face Arsenal after joining the club on January deadline day, but will now look to steer the side away from the bottom three.

Crystal Palace's new recruits and long-term absentee Glenn Murray are in contention for Saturday's clash with fellow struggler West Brom.

Tom Ince, Scott Dann and Joe Ledley all joined the London club on transfer deadline day last Friday, but were not signed in time to face Arsenal.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey did put pen to paper in time to take his place in the squad for the 2-0 defeat against the Premier League leaders and the Welshman is expected to be on the bench once again.

Manager Tony Pulis must decide whether to include winger Ince, center back Dann and midfielder Ledley in his side for the meeting with Pepe Mel's men or keep faith with the players who have played their part in guiding Palace out of the bottom three.

Striker Murray has also been included in the squad for the first time since the Championship playoff semifinal first leg against Brighton after recovering from a knee ligament injury.

Much is made of the impact Wilfried Zaha made in Palace's promotion campaign, but Murray scored 30 goals before sustaining the serious injury at Selhurst Park in May and Pulis is delighted to have the 30-year-old back in contention.

"He's played a couple of matches behind closed doors and he looks fit and strong," he said. "He's in the squad - he’s in the 25 so it will be like a new signing."

Palace has turned its home ground into a fortress since Pulis arrived in November, losing just once at home against Newcastle United in December. Stoke City and Hull City have both been consigned to 1-0 defeats in Palace's last two home games and a third successive win at Selhurst Park will raise further hopes the team can avoid the drop.

Albion is level with Palace on 23 points after winning only one of its last 14 top-flight games, but Pulis is not reading too much into its form.

"They've got some good players, West Brom, they've got a lot of experience in the Premiership and it will be a real, real tough game on Saturday for us," he added.

Mel revealed Thursday that Craig Dawson will start in the heart of the Baggies' defence in the absence of Jonas Olsson. Sweden defender Olsson sustained a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday and so Dawson will make only his second Premier League start of the season.

Forward Thievy Bifouma is set to be included in the West Brom squad for the first time since his loan move from Espanyol on deadline day, but Mel ruled out handing a start to the Frenchman this weekend.

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