The Premier League is no stranger to surprises, and a well organised Crystal Palace side almost pulled off a shock result at Manchester City on Saturday, falling to a 1-0 defeat courtesy of Edin Dzeko’s second half goal. Palace will host Norwich in a vital clash on New Years’ Day with renewed optimism following respectable displays at Chelsea and Manchester City.
Tony Pulis’ arrival at Selhurst Park has seen the Eagles pick up three victories from their last seven Premier League matches. The former Stoke boss has instilled a sturdy work ethic in his players, and will look to avenge the defeat at Carrow Road in his first match as Palace boss back in November. Norwich took on the red side of Manchester on Saturday and showed that they too have a steely determination, so this match could prove to be a tight affair with defences coming out on top. Despite being winless over the Christmas period, the Canaries will be hoping for a positive start to 2014, but Palace are difficult to beat at home and Norwich have only won twice on the road this season.
Crucial to Palace’s improved performances has been the link-up between Barry Bannan and Marouane Chamakh; whilst Mile Jedinak’s impressive form in midfield has been key to their defensive efficiency. Norwich will look to the flair of winger Nathan Redmond and good form of Jonny Howson to unlock Palace’s defence.
KICK OFF: New Year’s Day, 3.00pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS
Norwich City 1 (Hooper) Crystal Palace 0, Premier League, November 2013
Crystal Palace 0 Norwich City 0, Championship, January 2011
Norwich City 1 (Holt) Crystal Palace 2 (Bennett, Gardner) Championship, October 2010
Crystal Palace's last New Year's Day top flight win was a 1-0 home victory against Notts County in the old Division One in 1992.
All three of Norwich's New Year's Day Premier League matches have been away. They won 1-0 at Southampton in 1994, drew 1-1 at Portsmouth in 2005 and lost 2-1 at West Ham last year.
Crystal Palace: 2.3
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.50pm