Both teams have accumulated 42 points and are well clear of any relegation worries, while the European places are not beyond reach for either side if they could chalk together a series of wins during the concluding weeks of the season (as per Sky Sports).
Burnley make the trip to south London off the back of a 1-0 win over Watford, albeit one which came at a price as scorer Jay Rodriguez was taken off due to concerns over his hamstring and ankle (as per Sky Sports). Clarets manager Sean Dyche is optimistic that the 30-year-old will be fit to face the Eagles, although he is still being assessed prior to kick-off.
The ex-Southampton striker is among several injury concerns for Burnley, who will be without Robbie Brady, Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Johann Berg Gudmundsson (as per Sky Sports).
Football Transfer Tavern predicts how the Clarets might line up for tonight’s clash at Selhurst Park:
While Dyche’s attacking options may be badly limited, he at least has a settled back five to call upon. Nick Pope will continue in goal after keeping his 12th Premier League clean sheet of the season on Thursday, while Burnley will likely have the same defensive quartet of Charlie Taylor, Ben Mee, James Tarkowski and Matthew Lowton.
The composition of the midfield will probably have a largely familiar look to it as well, with Josh Brownhill keeping his place on the right as Jack Cork and Ashley Westwood team up in the middle of the park. However, there could be some changes of note elsewhere.
Although Dyche is hopeful of having Rodriguez back, the striker may not be risked if he isn’t fully fit, as Burnley may not need to be free-scoring to beat a Crystal Palace team who, with just 28 league goals all season, are the second-lowest scorers in the top flight.
Will Jay Rodriguez start against Crystal Palace?
With Barnes and Wood also out, that could see the manager tweak his formation slightly and go with Matej Vydra as a lone striker. He would likely do so in a 4-4-1-1 setup that sees Dwight McNeil move from his usual wide role to occupy the number 10 berth behind the Czech target man. The 20-year-old’s vacancy on the left of midfield could then be taken by Erik Pieters, who has played in that position on a couple of occasions recently.
It is rare that Dyche moves away from his preferred 4-4-2 formation but, having gone with a lone striker for a handful of games during the festive period, he might elect to do so again tonight if Rodriguez isn’t at 100%.
Burnley fans, do you think this will be the starting XI for the match tonight? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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