Crystal Palace were one of the main favourites to struggle this season but the early signs are that they may indeed cause a few upsets this year as Dougie Freedman’s side now lie in fifth position in the Championship and come into this game with Blackpool on the back of a good one nil win away at Hull and followed that up with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Crawley Town in the Carling Cup.
Palace’s form has come as a breathe of fresh air for all Eagles fans as many predicted the team would be relegation fodder and its safe to say that manager Freedman is making great use of the resources given to him, and with the arrival of centre back Anthony Gardner the signs are positive.
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New signing Glenn Murray could make his first appearance of the season for Palace after signing from Brighton, but he will have to do without Nathaniel Clyne , midfielders Kagisho Dikgacoi , Owen Garvan and Alex Marrow along with striker Steffen Iversen who are still all struggling with injury.
Blackpool of course will be hoping to bounce back to the Premiership but it is clear that this year the Championship is an even more competitive league and it will not be easy, with the Tangerines one of a whole group of side who could challenge for honours.
A disappointing home defeat to Derby was followed up with a draw at promotion hopefuls Brighton, and with Ian Holloway’s side hovering in mid table a win at the Selhurst Park could really give the side a push in the right direction.
The loss of Charlie Adam and DJ Campbell is a major blow for any side, but the veteran Kevin Phillips has come in as a replacement, although it remains to be seen how long the ex Sunderland man can continue playing in the top flight.
The initial signs are positive however, with Phillips bagging a brace in the draw with Brighton and if he can continue to find the net there is no doubt that Blackpool could and should be near the summit of the table come May.
Neil Eardley has also re affirmed his commitment to Blackpool with a new contract this week and the signs are we should be in for a cracker this afternoon.