Crystal Palace v West Ham United

Preview Percy's been on his travels this week and, no doubt, pausing only to shout obscenities at the machine that reads your passport photo on your way home, he has rushed back to prepare a few words about this weekend's visit to Palace. You lucky people...

And so to the annual trip to the dump that is the Borough of Croydon a place so bereft of redeeming quality that it is the only borough in London capable of having produced the former Mrs Percy. Though I don't like to mention it much. Oh and Crystal Palace play there. Kick-off at Selhurst Park is 3pm so at least you'll be able to get across the border into somewhere more palatable like, say, Bromley, at a reasonable hour.

Well if we think we had problems at least there's been Palace to laugh at. They have gone eight of their nine games both goalless and pointless. Indeed it was a matter of some concern that they might come into this one in that very state, making, with our reputation as sequence-busters nailed on that we would be the first team that they would take either points or goals from. Thankfully Chelsea (est 2003) helped us out with that one by going down 2-1 in their visit to Selhurst so whatever happens that sequence is beyond us for once.

With Sam Allardyce (possibly wisely) electing not to chance his luck by keeping them up two seasons in a row thereby protecting his precious record of not relegating anyone, they turned to Frank De Boer, presumably thinking that, after Allardyce, some football might make a welcome change. Four games in and without a goal to their name they had a rapid change of mind and De Boer was out with the ever hapless Roy Hodgson installed the next day.

If the intention had been for a more creative and expansive game at the start of the season they certainly didn't go out of their way to sign any players with that intention. The work-experience kid of as yet-to-be determined gender wearing a hoodie who seems only able to communicate with some strange grunting noises informs me that of the three players that arrived in the summer window, two were defenders whilst the third was a rookie 'keeper signed on a free from Peterborough. And one of the defenders didn't really count as a new signing, Mamadou Sakho having been at Selhurst in 16-17 on loan, with ?26m laughing all the way to Liverpool's bank account. In return for the deal being made permanent.

There is a Liverpool connection with the other signing. Jairo Riedewald's first name is worshipped on Merseyside. The Netherlands international (wait for it) who has three Dutch Caps (ok you can snigger now) came in for an undisclosed fee widely reported as being ?7.9m from Ajax. At Ajax he had been managed by Frank De Boer who found it easy to persuade his prot?g? to join Palace. Presumably a guided tour of the London Borough Of Croydon did not form part of the greeting package, and as we speak with De Boer having been given the Spanish Archer he must now be wondering if a five-year deal was the wisest of moves.

In addition to the three permanent signings there have been a couple of loans, one of which, of course, comes from Chelsea. Ruben Loftus-Cheat discovered just how stupid Referees are when winning his parent club a last minute penalty in 2-2 draw with us at Stamford Bridge a couple of seasons back - a draw that credited the referee for this match with two assists for the home side.

The other loan signing is Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who came in for the season from Moan Utd. Like Riedewald, he is an alumnus of Ajax and again played under De Boer. Don't expect his deal to be made permanent at the end of the season then. Oh and he has just the one Dutch Cap if you're interested.

In goal of late has been long-serving custodian of the onion bag Julian Speroni. Now 38 the Argentinian with a convenient Italian grandfather had been second fiddle to Welsh International (ie not going to the World Cup) Wayne Hennessy. However with Hennessy picking up a knock Speroni came in for the Chelsea match and retained his place despite Hennessy's apparent return to fitness for the Newcastle match. Hennessy returned for the midweek capitulation in the League Cup (4-1 defeat at Bristol City in case, for some reason you may have been elsewhere distracted) so who knows who will be between the sticks this weekend. A bit of extra appearance money wouldn't go amiss in the Speroni household, his Purley Argentinian Restaurant having closed down due to "structural problems" with the building that his landlord couldn't resolve.

Enough of them. Well what can one say about Wednesday. My prediction looked well set at the interval and anyone predicting a 3-2 win for us at the Bobby Moore Stadium would have been carted off to hospital faster than you can say "sectioned". Who knows what was said at half-time. If it had been me in charge I'd have simply played them a loop of Alli and Son's stupid goal celebration - that would have been enough to have stirred the most moribund I'd have thought.

The hilarious way in which social media was overloaded with Spurs fans saying how much they didn't care (so much so they overloaded social media in saying so) is well worth a moment of your time - the opposition view available elsewhere on this site contains some of the best "lack of self-awareness" writing since the last Alan Partridge book. Then there was the "subnormal-even-for-Spurs" specimen who chucked a bottle of urine in our general direction. He will be banned from watching Spurs for life apparently, though really there ought to be punishment rather than reward for such action. In the meantime Spurs fans, if you really want to know why you are despised throughout the country you might just want to have a look at yourselves.

Of course as has been the norm this season they made a complete mess of the draw - at this rate they will try and do one for the final - and still get it wrong.

Prediction - damned if I know. I mean I got the number of goals right for Wednesday I suppose. I was just slightly out on the matter of their distribution. Midweek will have done us the power of good - and my hope is that as many of those who played on Wednesday will be considered for selection in order to capitalise on that adrenaline rush. Our hosts are supposed to have played ok up at Newcastle last weekend but, reserve team or no, getting turned over by Bristol City won't have improved the atmosphere any.

So I will therefore go for an away win with the ?2.50 I was going to spend on technical advice to be given to them that does the League Cup Draw being placed on a 2-1 away win down at Winstone The Turf Accountant.

Enjoy the gane!

When Last we met at Selhurst Park: Won 1-0 (Premier League October 2016)

It was the day of the dives. Benteke dived and "won" a penalty which he took himself. They are still looking for the ball. Zaha dived more than he stayed on his feet. It was embarrassing. Lanzini's neat finish from a flowing move gave us the lead and eventually all three points. Martin Bloody Atkinson then booked Cresswell for diving when he had been upended in the box. If that wasn't ludicrous enough 30 seconds later Cresswell was adjudged to have fouled Zaha - even though he wasn't within two feet of the player when he went down. Had it been this season Zaha would have received a two-match retrospective ban. Cresswell found himself unable to appeal the two yellows. Atkinson received no punishment and is free to continue fraudulently claiming his salary.

Referee: Robert Madley

His employment can only be part of some sort of positive action scheme surely?

Danger Man: Wilfried Zaha

Dive Dive Dive

Percy's Poser:

Last week we asked how much public money has been pumped into the building of the White Hart Lane stadium that according to Daniel Levy hasn't had a pound of public money going into it. Well, not counting the possibly illegal removal of the usual requirement to provide affordable housing when you construct flats, we reckon that at least ?40m of public money has been spent on things that anyone constructing such a major project would be expected to pay for. This includes infrastructure updating of transport links and generally making the facility easier to use. Congratulations to Mrs Constance Wilberforce of Stanford Le Hope whose answer was first out of the digital hat. Constance wins a "sshhh don't tell everyone" from Mr Levy.

For this week's poser we ask you: What is the connection between Croydon's branch of Ikea and Brazil? First prize is a return ticket to East Croydon. Second prize is a one-way ticket.

Good luck everyone!

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