Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira anticipates a stern test when his Eagles side welcome Leeds United to Selhurst Park on Sunday.
Following last week’s galling 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, only goal difference is keeping Vieira’s team out of the Premier League’s bottom three.
But Vieira believes his side deserve to have picked up more points than they have this campaign.
“It’s going to be a challenging game,” Vieira said. “We know how good they can be and how well they can play.
“At the same time, we’re at home and I’ve been pleased with the way we’ve played the last couple of games, even if we didn’t get the results we deserved.”
Asked about his relationship with fiery opposite number Jesse Marsch, Vieira added: “The last time we played against each other it was good, no issues at all! There is no real rivalry or any kind of negativity between Jesse and myself.”
Marsch spent Leeds’ last match – a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa – in the stands after being given a touchline ban for his comments on the officials’ performance in last months’ 5-2 loss to Brentford.
The former RB Leipzig boss was then left infuriated by perceived time-wasting from Villa in Leeds’ last outing, and has revealed he has discussed the matter with the league.
“We tried to have some open dialogue with officials and the league, and I think the discourse was helpful. I think that people are aligned,” Marsch said.
“They think it’s not great for the game to have the time-wasting, so I think they’ll make adjustments. Our next home match is against Arsenal and I highly doubt we will see them time-wasting.
“At the very least, I am happy that people are open to the dialogue and discussion in a good way. Hopefully it will make a difference.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha
Only Wolves’ Daniel Podence (67 per cent) has scored a higher share of his team’s Premier League goals this season than Zaha (50 per cent), who has scored four of Crystal Palace’s eight goals so far.
Leeds United – Patrick Bamford
Bamford has scored four goals in his last six Premier League appearances against teams he has previously played for in the competition, including two against Palace (also two vs Burnley). Only Glenn Murray (three) has scored more Premier League goals against Palace after playing for them.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Crystal Palace have failed to score in their last three Premier League matches against Leeds (D1 L2), after netting four times in the game previous to this run, a 4-1 home win in November 2020.
– Leeds are looking to keep four consecutive clean sheets against an opponent for only the fourth time in the Premier League, also doing so against Aston Villa (Mar 1994 – Aug 1995), Middlesbrough (Aug 1998 – Feb 2000) and Southampton (Apr 1996 – Sept 1997).
– Crystal Palace have scored the first goal in four of their last six Premier League games, conceding first in one, with the other finishing 0-0. The Eagles won the only game in which they conceded first in this run, while they’ve not won any of the four games in which they’ve opened the scoring (D2 L2).
– Since the start of last season, only Wolves (five) have either lost or drawn more Premier League games courtesy of goals conceded in the 90th minute than Crystal Palace (four). Meanwhile, Leeds have scored more 90th-minute goals to either draw or win games than any other side in that time (7).
– This will be Jesse Marsch’s 20th Premier League match in charge of Leeds United, with the Whites picking up 45 cards in his 19 games so far (42 yellows, three reds), second only to Everton (51) since his first game in March. Only four managers have seen their teams receive as many as 50 cards in their first 20 games in the competition: Walter Smith (59), Ruud Gullit (52), Steve Bruce (50) and Walter Mazzarri (50).