I’ve waffled on before about how much I love televised weekend West Ham games, and this Saturday has got my excitement going! Saturday lunchtime is a great time for a match, offering time pre- and post-game to partake in other weekend activities.
The morning can be spent with Victoria, walking to a cafe and reading a book, and the evening can be spent celebrating three points (!) with some mates in my favourite pub, The Builders Arms. Alternatively, if the worst happens and we perform miserably and lose, the shops are still open after the game to stock up on comfort cheeseburgers.
Since the turn of the year Palace have won just two of 10 matches and sit 12th in the Championship. Despite their recent form they concern me more than some other clubs. They’ve got great, passionate support and the team will be really up for getting a result at our manor.
When we met earlier in the season at Selhurst Park the game ended in a 2-2 draw, with our goals being scored by John Carew and Kevin Nolan. Suspension and poor form make for a sure bet that – if we manage to score – the goals will come from other squad members. I find it routinely impossible to predict our starting lineups so it’s a waste of time to predict formation and personnel, but I know who I enjoy seeing pulling on the claret and blue.
Nicky Maynard and Ricardo Vaz Te have settled in brilliantly and really look like decent signings, but Big Sam has been talking about fatigue a bit so it’s possible we’ll see other faces. As much as I want to see more of Maynard, we have a similar player in Baldock and it’s important we don’t forget his God-given, goal-getting abilities. The way the team has been playing recently fills me with confidence that we’ll continue to be amongst the goals, but we can’t stop working as hard as we have been, or we could see another Ipswich-style result.
Big Sam has said there will be late fitness tests for Tomkins and Faye, which is a bit of a concern. Who knows, it could open the door for George John to make an appearance?
With Rob Green’s successful appeal we have one less question ahead of the Palace match. His form has been fantastic this season and his pedigree really showed against Southampton; having him in the team makes me much more confident.
I’m going to plump for a home success with the Irons taking the three points to further cement our position at the top of the league.
Come On You Irons!