It may still be October but West Brom’s trip to a rain-lashed Selhurst Park this afternoon bore all the hallmarks of a traditional relegation battle.
The two promoted sides have managed just the one Barclays Premiership victory apiece but it was Palace’s position, bottom of the table at kick-off, which made their predicament marginally more perilous.
Palace notched their win over Fulham in their last home game and were searching for a repeat performance against a West Brom side who had lost just once in their last four games, including a victory over high-flying Bolton.
West Brom were again without suspended duo Neil Clement and Darren Purse while Palace were unchanged from last week’s frustrating defeat at Bolton, with Andy Johnson the lone striker supported by a five-man midfield.
Crystal Palace: Kiraly, Boyce, Hall, Popovic, Granville, Riihilahti, Routledge, Watson, Hughes, Kolkka, Johnson. Subs: Speroni, Freedman, Torghelle, Sorondo, Lakis.
West Brom: Hoult, Moore, Gaardsoe, Albrechtsen, Haas, Johnson, Scimeca, Gera, Robinson, Kanu, Earnshaw. Subs: Greening, Horsfield, Hulse, Kuszczak, Inamoto.
Referee: M Messias (S Yorkshire)