Crystal Palace and Sunderland will both look for their first win of the Premier League season when they meet at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Palace, which beat Watford in last season's Championship playoff final to secure promotion, has made a poor start to life in the top flight, losing both of its fixtures to Tottenham and Stoke City. Last Saturday's defeat to Stoke was particularly disappointing for manager Ian Holloway, given the club held a halftime lead, but Palace's defensive frailties were exposed after the break.
Holloway still feels he is short of the requirements needed to survive in the Premier League, and a 2-1 Capital One Cup defeat to Bristol City on Tuesday will have reinforced his thoughts regarding the squad at this disposal.
The former Blackpool boss revealed on Thursday that he was holding talks with veteran defender William Gallas and Reading winger Jimmy Kebe, while the club has also joined the race for West Ham's Ricardo Vaz Te, as the manager he looks to bring in more players ahead of the transfer deadline on Sept. 2.
Jerome Thomas (ankle) could return for the match, but fellow winger Yannick Bolasie (hamstring) is sidelined for the foreseeable future, as is Jonathan Parr (ankle). Glenn Murray (knee) and Patrick McCarthy (groin) are long-term absentees.
Sunderland has also started slowly in the Premier League, slumping to a 1-0 home defeat against Fulham on the opening day.
The Black Cats responded with a 1-1 draw at Southampton last time out, and manager Paolo Di Canio will hope the 4-2 Capital One Cup win over Milton Keynes Dons on Tuesday can spark their season into life.
Sunderland was on the verge of an embarrassing exit to the League One side, trailing 2-0 with just 12 minutes to go at The Stadium of Light. But a goal from American striker Jozy Altidore, followed by a late double from Connor Wickham and Adam Johnson sealed the Black Cats' progression.
Sunderland duo Lee Cattermole and Wes Brown (both knee) could return for the match, but out-of-favor defender Phil Bardsley (foot) is sidelined indefinitely. Di Canio has confirmed that striker Steven Fletcher will travel with the squad, though.
Fletcher injured his ankle on international duty for Scotland in March and has not featured for the Black Cats since. He scored 11 Premier League goals in 28 appearances last season.
Palace and Sunderland have never played each other in the Premier League, with their last top-flight meeting coming in March 1991, a fixture Sunderland won 2-1. The two sides have met on 10 occasions since, with Sunderland winning five of them.
- Sports & Recreation
- the Premier League
- Ian Holloway