West Ham vs Crystal Palace preview: Hammers without Marko Arnautovic
Last Updated: 08/12/18 9:30am
West Ham will be without forward Marko Arnautovic when they host Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Hammers are looking for a third straight Premier League win, but have a lengthy injury list that includes Arnautovic, who faces a month out with a hamstring injury sustained in the midweek victory over Cardiff.
Arnautovic's absence could mean a first Premier League start of the season for Lucas Perez, who scored twice against Cardiff after coming off the bench.
"I'm pleased because he's a player I brought in this season to this team," said manager Manuel Pellegrini.
"We know Lucas and we know he is a good striker but for other reasons he couldn't start playing in the other games. But the important thing is, when he has the chance, he takes the chance."
Crystal Palace will be aiming to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat at Brighton in midweek.
Manager Roy Hodgson said: "Up to the Brighton game, the performances have been good. This has come as an unpleasant cold shower for us, where we didn't play as well as we wanted to.
"The important thing is to not allow that to affect us as a team. We have shown good intentions, but I am not an enormous believer in statistics."
Arnautovic joins Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ryan Fredericks, Carlos Sanchez, Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid and Manuel Lanzini on a lengthy West Ham casualty list.
But defenders Pablo Zabaleta and Fabian Balbuena are available after missing the win over Cardiff.
Crystal Palace have no fresh injury concerns.
Forward Connor Wickham (thigh) and defender Scott Dann (knee) have been stepping up their rehabilitation, while striker Christian Benteke continues his recovery from a knee injury.
- West Ham are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games against Crystal Palace (W3 D3) since a 1-3 defeat in February 2015 at Upton Park.
- Both Premier League meetings between West Ham and Crystal Palace ended as draws last season - prior to that, only two of the last 16 top-flight games between the sides had ended as draws.
- The side scoring first in Premier League fixtures between West Ham and Crystal Palace have never lost (W10 D4).
- West Ham are looking to win three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2016. Their last two wins have been 3-0 and 3-1, they've not won three in a row while scoring at least three goals in the top-flight since October 1982.
- Each of West Ham's last 10 Premier League wins have been by a margin of two or more goals - their previous 10 such wins in the competition had come over a period of 25 victories between January 2016 and January 2018.
- Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has managed just one win in 16 away London derbies in all competitions as a manager (D4 L11), though that win came on the opening day of this season at Fulham.
- After netting in three of his first four Premier League appearances this season, Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha has failed to score in his last nine in the competition.
Paul Merson's prediction
I've gone for West Ham to win this game. Crystal Palace just don't score enough goals for me.
Roy Hodgson must be pulling his hair out. They could have beat Burnley by 10 but then three days later in a massive game against Brighton they just get rolled over. Brighton had 10 men for a lot of the game, that was the worrying thing.
I just don't see Palace scoring and to add to that West Ham have turned a corner. They have had back-to-back wins against Newcastle and Cardiff and now they are at home again. I'm struggling to see anything but a West Ham win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (10/1 with Sky Bet)