West Ham United-Crystal Palace Preview
David Moyes insisted West Ham must be realistic about their aims for the season as they prepare to face Crystal Palace on Tuesday.
West Ham have been a surprise package under Moyes this season and would move into the top four - above reigning champions Liverpool - should they claim three points at Selhurst Park.
Palace, meanwhile, have won just one of their last six Premier League outings, though that victory, a 2-0 success over lowly Sheffield United, came in their last home game.
Yet despite West Ham's lofty position in the table, Moyes does not think his side are yet capable of a Champions League push.
"A win on Tuesday would take us fourth, but I think we're a long way off a top-four finish at the moment. We're a work-in-progress and the team are doing an excellent job," he said.
"We want to be ambitious, but at West Ham we always get asked these questions after we win a few games. Overall, we're a team that's growing.
"It would be an incredible step if we went further than that - we'll try to, I'm not saying we won't or can't - but the realistic answer to a top-four finish is it's probably beyond our reach."
Roy Hodgson, meanwhile, is full of admiration for Moyes' work.
"David and I have been friends for a long time - I've always been a great admirer of his work," said Hodgson.
"They do all aspects of the game well. They're obviously an experienced, disciplined and very professional team.
"Whoever plays them has to understand you'll play a good team with good quality right the way through - they've got no weaknesses you can exploit."
Crystal Palace - Wilfried Zaha
With new signing Jean-Philippe Mateta unable to feature on Tuesday, the onus will again be on eight-goal Zaha to lead Palace's attack. The 28-year-old missed the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City with an injury, but has been back in training.
West Ham - Angelo Ogbonna
Going up against Zaha and co. will be West Ham centre-back Ogbonna, who has been in superb form this season and has helped the Hammers to three clean sheets in their last five league games, while he is also a real threat from set-pieces.
- Palace are unbeaten in their last four Premier League games against West Ham (W2 D2), their longest unbeaten streak against the Hammers in the competition.
- West Ham are looking to win four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2018, while Moyes has not done so in the competition since December 2013 with Manchester United.
- Since beating West Brom 5-1 at the start of December, Crystal Palace have scored just five further goals in their eight Premier League matches (W1 D4 L3), failing to score on four occasions in this run.
- Palace have won none of their last 19 Premier League games against teams starting the day in the top half (D6 L13). Since beating Manchester United in September, Palace's four wins have been against the three newly promoted teams (Fulham, Leeds, West Brom) and bottom placed Sheffield United.
- Michail Antonio has scored the winning goal in West Ham's last two Premier League victories - the last player to score the winner in three consecutive top-flight games for the Hammers was Bobby Zamora, doing so in 2007.
Updated January 25, 2021