Full Match - Aston Villa 6-1 BrightonSep 30
Crystal Palace host West Ham in Saturday’s early kick-off as both sides aim to pull further clear of the relegation zone.
Roy Hodgson’s return has inspired the Eagles to climb to the comfort of mid-table, while the Hammers recent upturn in form will have reassured fans.
But the job isn’t done yet and a win for either of these London teams at Selhurst Park would be significant.
Here are three reasons to watch the game, live on BT Sport 1 from 11.30am.
Can either side respond from minor setbacks?
After picking up some much-needed results over the last few weeks, both Palace and West Ham were beaten last time out.
The former fell to a disappointing 2-0 loss at Wolves and have now gone two games without scoring after a glut of goals immediately following Hodgson’s re-appointment.
West Ham, meanwhile, were narrowly beaten by Liverpool at the London Stadium having been controversially denied a penalty late on.
Neither of the defeats are likely to be overly damaging for either team, but they will be keen for a response on Saturday.
For Palace, there is a sense that safety is all but secured with an eight-point gap to the relegation zone. One more win would take them to the 40-point mark, though, and Hodgson won’t want the early promise of his second spell to dwindle away.
West Ham, only five points ahead of 18th-placed Leicester, still have some work to do, and David Moyes and his players are likely to still be smarting after the manner of the Liverpool loss.
Paqueta bringing the Brazilian flair after slow start
It’s taken some time for Lucas Paqueta to find his feet in the Premier League after his arrival from Lyon in the summer.
A club record fee was paid for the 25-year-old, who had excelled in Ligue 1 and established himself as a regular in Tite’s Brazil team.
He was mercurial in his first few weeks at West Ham, though, and there were some question marks over his ability to fit into Moyes’ team.
But Paqueta appears to have hit his stride now, scoring three goals in his last three appearances including a superb strike against Liverpool.
“I can safely say that I am adapting,” Paqueta said after that game. “It took some time to identify myself with the pace of the Premier League, the physicality, but I believe I am now 100 percent adapted and I hope to get better and better and give my all each time I step out onto the field.”
With his technical quality beginning to shine through, Paqueta could soon become one of the most exciting players to watch in the Premier League.
Palace due goals after drawing blanks
No one expected Palace to become one of the most formidable attacking forces in the division after Hodgson’s return, but that’s what happened.
Nine goals in his first three games including a 5-1 thrashing of Leeds at Elland Road took the Eagles clear from the bottom three with a flourish.
But they have since reverted to the kind of impotent displays that cost Patrick Vieira his job, held to a goalless draw by Everton and then unable to break down Wolves at Molineux.
Hodgson must find some solutions, then, if Palace are to avoid another period of struggle in front of goal.
Wilfried Zaha has been out with injury and his return will likely help, while the likes of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise will hope to continue their promising form.