Crystal Palace vs West Bromwich Albion: A must-win game for struggling Baggies

Crystal Palace will be looking to extend an impressive record against West Brom on Saturday afternoon.

When: Saturday, March 13, 15:00 GMT

How to watch: Sky Sports

Best bets

Wilfried Zaha to score first and Crystal Palace to win 2-1 at 28/1 (Sky Bet)

Half time / Full time - Draw / Crystal Palace at 9/2 (Sky Bet)

Over 3.5 total goals: 7/2 (Betfred)

Follow the Crystal vs West Brom game in our score centre

Are West Brom doomed?

With only three Premier League victories to their name so far this season, West Brom are edging closer to the drop, along with fellow strugglers Sheffield United.

Since Sam Allardyce has come in, they have only recorded two victories and 'Big Sam' has failed to bring an upturn in fortune since the departure of Slaven Bilic in December.

The Baggies, who occupy 19th place in the table, are eight points adrift of Brighton and Fulham and have 10 games in which to save their season.

The bookies have little faith in West Brom staying up, and are 1/50 with several major bookies to be relegated come the end of the season.

These are desperate times for Sam Allardyce's men, who need to start winning immediately to have any hope of defying the odds.

Last three Premier League meetings:

West Brom 1-5 Crystal Palace (December 6, 2020)

Crystal Palace dealt West Brom a thrashing in one of Slaven Bilic's final games in charge.

Brazilian attacking midfielder Matheus Pereira was controversially sent off for a kick-out at a Palace player, with the scores poised at 1-1.

The away team devastatingly took advantage of having an extra man and made West Brom pay, scoring four second-half goals.

A brace for both Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke helped their side net five in an away top-flight match for the first time.

Crystal Palace 2-0 West Brom (May 13, 2018)

Wilfried Zaha stole the show as Roy Hodgson's men condemned his former side to a bottom-place finish in the last game of the season.

The victory helped the Eagles finish a successful season in 11th place, after losing their first seven games. West Brom had not lost in five games under caretaker manager Darren Moore before this match, but they couldn't maintain their impressive record.

Palace took the lead when Patrick van Aanholt provided a cross for Zaha to score on 70 minutes. The Dutchman got himself on the scoresheet just eight minutes later, rounding goalkeeper Ben Foster to seal the result.

West Brom 0-0 Crystal Palace (December 2, 2017)

In a goalless draw, the main headline from this game was that Alan Pardew took charge of his first game as West Brom manager, against a team he both played for and managed.

Palace were forced to make a late change to their line-up as goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey suffered an injury pre-game and veteran Julian Speroni replaced him.

The goalie had a fair amount to do, making seven saves and kept out West Brom's main chances from Jay Rodriguez and Hal Robson-Kanu.

Crystal Palace could only name five substitutes and their lack of depth reflected on the field with little creativity among their ranks.

The draw left the Baggies in 17th and Palace one place worse off in 18th, after 15 games.

Head-to-head in the Premier League

Played: 13

West Bromwich Albion wins: 4

Draws: 3

Crystal Palace wins: 6

West Bromwich Albion scored: 14

Crystal Palace scored: 23

The magic 40-point mark

Achieving a total of 40 points has been enough to keep every team in the Premier League since 2002/03. Roy Hodgson's team can come within three points of the magic number with a win on Saturday.

The Eagles faced a ruthless Tottenham side in their last Premier League match, losing 4-1, but their performance was not as bad as the result suggested.

Hodgson has never let his team ease up towards the end of the season in the past, even when seemingly safe from relegation. Although they are eight points above the drop zone, nothing is mathematically certain.

Palace showed grit and determination against Manchester United in their last home game. The 0-0 draw frustrated Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team and the London club had opportunities to go in front.

Looking ahead at Palace's league fixtures, a win against West Brom may prove to be vital because, after the international break, they have a run of tough fixtures against teams above or around them in the table.

Crystal Palace's next five games after playing West Brom:

Everton (A)

Chelsea (H)

Southampton (A)

Leicester (A)

Manchester City (H)

The bookies have Palace as almost dead certs to stay in the Premier League, but there is no doubt that they will be looking to hit the 40-point mark sooner rather than later and confirming their top-flight status.

Scoreline prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 West Brom

Crystal Palace have won four of their last five meetings with West Brom and against a team devoid of confidence, will look to enhance that record.

The Baggies, who have only conceded two goals in their previous five Premier League games, do however lack power up front. We expect them to have more firepower this week against a Palace team with a far-from-ideal defensive record but it might not be enough.

A big reason for this is the return of Wilfried Zaha. Palace's key player returned as a substitute against Spurs and will be hoping to be fit enough to start at the weekend.

West Brom may struggle to contain him with his trickery and pace, and Christian Benteke proving more of a goalscoring threat recently, the Baggies may have their work cut out.

Palace have failed to score in the three previous home games but Zaha's return could be a contributing factor to changing that stat.

Even though neither side are known for their scoring prowess, the last meeting between the teams did produce six goals and with lots on the line for both teams, it can be expected that there will be plenty of goalmouth action.

Both teams tend to grow into games and a lot of that action could take place in the second half of the game.

Goalscorer bets

Wilfried Zaha loves playing against Saturday's opponents. He netted twice in the last fixture between the two sides and has four in his last four games against the Baggies.

The Ivory Coast international is at 2/1 to score anytime with bet365.

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