Dear expecting a game of ‘cat and mouse’

Brian Jeeves

West Ham United v Crystal Palace – Premier League – London Stadium – Sunday (2pm) – Preview

Brian Dear is expecting the proverbial game of ‘cat and mouse’ when West Ham United face Crystal Palace at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Back-to-back Premier League victories have lifted the East Londoners back into the top ten. However, boss David Moyes still finds himself under pressure from sections of the support who are unhappy with the Hammers’ style of play and entertainment value.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace chief, Roy Hodgson is dodging one or two bullets after Palace slipped to defeat at Luton last time out, their fourth defeat in five matches.

“While West Ham supporters are critical of Moyes’s cautious approach, Palace appear to be too open and could perhaps do with some of our defensive nous,” Dear told Yellow Sport.

Courtesy of Brian Dear

“It could make for an interesting game. Regardless of their recent form, I don’t think Crystal Palace will be involved in a relegation battle, but they certainly aren’t where they would like to be right now.

“Of course, for eighty-five minutes at Burnley, we weren’t where we wanted to be. The performance at Turf Moor was poor and lacked creativity. As delighted as I am with the three points, there is no doubt that we got away with it against one of the weaker teams in the division.”

Dear continued: “Palace have done pretty well at the London Stadium in recent years. They are unbeaten in four visits. Their all-action style has proved difficult to deal with for West Ham under Moyes.

“I genuinely think it is time that Moyes handed Divin Mubama a start in the Premier League, although it remains to be seen if Jarrod Bowen will be fit for Sunday’s match. 

“We have one or two ‘edge of your seat’ players, capable of exciting the crowd and giving match-winning performances. Although I recognise the importance of keeping our shape and a clean sheet, I think those players – the likes of Bowen, Mubama, Kudus and Paquetá – need an extra license to enhance our attacking capabilities and make West Ham easier on the eye.

“Despite our recent home record against Palace, I think it is a game we are capable of winning. With a busy December coming up, we need to keep up our recent momentum, even if that has been accumulated through doggedness as opposed to style.”

Brian Dear’s prediction: West Ham United 2-1 Crystal Palace

Jeevesie’s prediction: West Ham United 1-0 Crystal Palace

Brian Jeeves