A win on Sunday afternoon is vital for Swansea City and Crystal Palace. Both sit in the lower echelons of the Premier League table, and both are likely to be fighting for survival come April and May. The difference, though, is that Palace expected to be down there. Swansea, after their 9th place finish and Capital One Cup win last season, did not. It has been a hectic season for the side from South Wales, and now under the stewardship of Garry Monk, they will look to push away from the drop zone in their final 11 games.
They faced Napoli in Italy on Thursday night, and may rest players following their 2280-mile Europa League round trip. Jonjo Shelvey missed out on that game with a hamstring injury, but should be available for the visit of Palace on Sunday. Michu is still recovering from his ankle injury and will not play any part.
Tony Pulis has masterminded a remarkable turnaround in South London, and the Eagles' can now see a way out of trouble. Written off by most at the start of the season, Palace have since convinced plenty of their capabilities, and have found themselves widely tipped to avoid relegation back to the Championship.
As we enter March, Palace sit two places above the drop zone, albeit with a game in hand, and most in SE25 seem quietly confident of the great escape. Pulis, as the overworked stat goes, has never been relegated as a manager, and will fight tooth and nail to retain that remarkable achievement at Palace.
Glenn Murray was a surprise inclusion in Palace's 0-2 loss against Manchester United last weekend, and is likely to be in the starting eleven again following his comeback from a long injury layout. Other than that, only Jerome Thomas is a doubt for Pulis' men, who travel to South Wales high on confidence after three wins from their last five in the Premier League.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 4.00pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
Crystal Palace 0 Swansea City 2 (Michu, Dyer), Premier League, September 2013
Swansea 3 (Pratley, Sinclair 2) Crystal Palace 0, Championship, January 2011
Crystal Palace 0 Swansea 3 (Sinclair, Pratley, Allen), Championship, October 2010
Crystal Palace have the worst shot conversion rate in the Premier League this season, scoring with only 7.9% of their shots.
Swansea have scored 75% of their goals in the second half of games, so don't expect them to get out of the blocks early – it's a league-high record this season.
22% of Palace's goals this season have been scored in the opening 15 minutes of matches.
Swansea City have scored at least one goal in 92% of their home matches.
Swansea City to win: 1.87
Crystal Palace to win: 5.2
TV: Highlights on BBC1, Sunday 10.25pm