Jonathan Spector and Darren Ambrose will miss out through injury and Hayden Mullins is suspended. Nikola Zigic should return.
Crystal Palace will be missing Mile Jedinak who is suspended.
The last meeting was in April and turned out to be one of the most comfortable afternoons I’ve spent as a Blues fan in recent years. Blues were 3-0 up in thirty minutes through quality goals by Burke, Fahey and Murphy and were able to coast the rest of a 3-1 victory.
Blues are 19th with only one win from their last six games. At home they have won four and lost four.
Palace are 2nd but have won only one of their last four games. Away from home they have scored only twelve goals compared to twenty nine at Selhurst Park.
The Wolves game was an odd one in that for a change we started really well and dominated the first half. Their goal was a freak which then switched the momentum and we never recovered from it. While the performance was promising we were let down on multiple occasions by the final ball and sometimes the formation worked against us even when the ball was good. There were at least three occasions when King drifted wide, played the ball to Hall who crossed high into the box. The problem was that the only person in the box was Nathan Redmond who was never going to win a header against Berra and Johnson. Lee Clark’s random midfield generator gave us a dynamic line up with two wingers but I don’t think it was one that the players really got to work.
I expect for the visit of the high flying Eagles it’ll be a return to 4-4-2 although changes will have to be made with Hayden Mullins being suspended. Papa Bouba Diop could come in in a holding role as Jonathan Spector is also missing. Ravel Morrison will probably return alongside whoever is chosen. I expect Hall, Burke and Redmond to be fighting for one place with Elliot or Lovenkrands taking the left side. The defence can stay as it is. Steven Caldwell made a big mistake giving away that free kick but otherwise he was OK. After all Wolves didn’t score against us last Saturday.
With two games left to Christmas you usually look ahead at the congested fixture list and try to work out where you could be at the end of the festive period. This year though we appear to be stuck in 19th and I could see us still being 19th on January 2nd. I thought earlier that it would be a good result to get a point at Barnsley and maintain the gap to the bottom three which shows how low my expectations have dropped. Tomorrow’s game will be the tougher of our two festive home games as Palace are doing surprisingly well. If they can hold on to their top players in January I can see them still pushing for promotion come May. The club are doing a great deal for the two games (£10 each) and I hope we can get a few back through the turnstiles who perhaps have stopped going. Get those Blue Santa hats on and come to support the boys. You can go Christmas shopping afterwards.
Palace are many places above us in the league but we do have a habit of performing better against the tops sides so I reckon we could at least get a point and maybe a couple of goals.
Blues 2 Crystal Palace 2
C’mon you Blue Boys!