|The Premier League resumes on Saturday following a busy period of mid-week games.
With the Champions League and Europa League final group games also coming up, teams have their work cut out but two teams who do not have to worry about European competition are West Ham United and Crystal Palace.
The Hammers have their sights firmly set on the top half of the table and this is one match in a series of games West Ham will expect to win. If they can pick up maximum points, it could be a good Christmas period for the club.
Crystal Palace may be outside the relegation zone but they cannot afford to switch off in the battle against the drop. A win in this match would ease their worries and move them within 3 points of their opponents.
Wet Ham were being held to a 0-0 draw at home by Cardiff City on Tuesday night and with Marko Arnautovic going off in the first half, things were not looking good.However, West Ham came out in the second half and produced a good display to see off the Welsh club by scoring 3 goals only to conceded one themselves late on in the game.
That result means West Ham have won three of their last five Premier League matches, including the last two and trends show they have lost one of their last five. In addition to the win over Cardiff, the Hammers have defeated Burnley at home and Newcastle United away.
West Ham have won four of their last seven games at home but have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six.
Crystal Palace were very disappointing in their 3-1 loss against rivals Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday night. The Eagles were 2-0 down when Brighton were reduced to ten men but conceded another goal just before half-time. Crystal Palace pulled one back towards the end of the match but it was a poor performance overall.
Having picked up a point at Old Trafford and defeated Burnley, both without conceding a goal, Crystal Palace returned to their previous ways at Brighton. That result means Crystal Palace have won just one of their last ten games in all competitions and trends show they have kept only two clean sheets in those ten matches.
Crystal Palace have lost five and drawn one of their last six away games in all competitions.
Looking ahead to the team news and West Ham will be without Marko Arnautovic who went off in the previous match with a hamstring injury. The Austrian joins Aaron Cresswell, Ryan Fredericks, Andriy Yarmolenko, Carlos Sanchez, Manuel Lanzini and Winston Reid on the treatment table.
Crystal Palace could receive some positive news on the injury front with defender Scott Dann and striker Connor Wickham working their way back to fitness.
West Ham will believe this game presents a great opportunity for them to make it three wins in a row in the Premier League. Their form in comparison to Crystal Palace’s suggests the Hammers will pick up the 3 points.