CLUB COLOURS: Red and blue
STADIUM: Selhurst Park
POSITION 2012/13: 5th in Championship (promoted via play-offs)
LAST FIVE LEAGUE RESULTS: Sunderland (H) won 3-1, Man Utd (A) lost 2-0, Swansea (H) lost 2-0, Southampton (A) lost 2-0, Liverpool (A) lost 3-1
THE GAFFER: Ian Holloway is well-known for his jovial nature and ability to reel off a joke or two in his press conferences, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he’s a very astute manager. Having previously won promotion to the Premier League with Blackpool three seasons ago and then being relegated the following year, he will want to prove he can keep teams in England’s top division with his Crystal Palace side this season. His teams play without fear and buckets of confidence regardless of their form, so Fulham can take no chances this evening.
THE TACTICS: Holloway always sets up his teams in the same way; which is a simple “if you score two we’ll score three” mentality. Holloway realised with Blackpool that promoted sides looking to survive in the Premier League cannot simply go gung-ho and try to out-score the opposition – so Crystal Palace will be more defensively minded. That said, they will still look to pour bodies forward at every opportunity, especially on the counter-attack.
KAGISHO DIKGACOI (pictured): They always say players are almost ‘destined’ to score a goal the first time they face their former club – although it may appear that this former Fulham midfielder is more likely to stop one than score one. Dikgacoi only made just over a dozen appearances for the Whites, but has made the holding-midfield role his own since making the short move to Crystal Palace. Strong on the ball and one who is more likely to break up play and give the ball to more creative players than do anything ambitious himself, Fulham fans will see glimpses of old favourite Dickson Etuhu in his play.
MAROUANE CHAMAKH: Whilst he hasn’t scored as many as he’d have liked at this point in the season, Chamakh has had a new lease of life since moving from North to South London in the summer after a tough time at Arsenal. It seems that his confidence is coming back, and he scored a very smart goal away at Stoke last month. That is the player Crystal Palace have put faith in and want week-in-week-out, and slowly but surely we’re seeing the player who inspired Bordeaux to the Champions League Quarter-Finals in 2010.
MILE JEDINAK: Crystal Palace’s captain and player of the season in 2012/13, the Australian international will look to control the tempo of the game from his position in central-midfield. Jedinak will never stop running or looking to break up play, don’t be surprised if Fulham have to resort to man-marking Jedinak in an attempt to take hold of the game and regain possession higher up the pitch.
3: Points Crystal Palace has so far this season
35: Total managers Crystal Palace have had in their history
1905: Year club was formed
1990: Year Crystal Palace reached the FA Cup Final; their only appearance
26,309: Capacity of Selhurst Park