Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v Sunderland
By Football News
Crystal Palace and Sunderland will both look for their first win of the Premier League season when they meet at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Palace - who beat Watford in last season's Championship play-off final - have made a poor start to life in the top flight, losing both of their fixtures to Tottenham and Stoke City respectively.
Last week's defeat to Stoke was particularly disappointing for manager Ian Holloway, given they held a half-time lead, but Palace's defensive frailties were exposed after the break.
Holloway still feels he is short of the requirements needed to survive in the Premier League and a 2-1 League Cup defeat to Bristol City on Tuesday will have reinforced his thoughts on the club's squad.
The former Blackpool boss revealed on Thursday that he was holding talks with veteran defender William Gallas and Reading winger Jimmy Kebe, as he looks to bring in more players ahead of the transfer deadline on September 2.
Palace have been relegated in their last four top-flight seasons and Holloway will be hopeful his side can belatedly get their campaign going with a home win.
Jerome Thomas (ankle) could return for the match, but fellow winger Yannick Bolasie (hamstring) is sidelined for the foreseeable future, as is Jonathan Parr (ankle).
Glenn Murray (knee) and Patrick McCarthy (groin) are not expected to return soon either.
Sunderland have also started slowly in the Premier League, slumping to a 1-0 home defeat against Fulham on the opening day.
But they responded in a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Saturday and manager Paolo Di Canio will hope their 4-2 League Cup win over Milton Keynes Dons on Tuesday can spark their season into life.
Sunderland were on the verge of an embarrassing exit to the League One side, trailing 2-0 with just 12 minutes to go at The Stadium of Light.
But a late double from Connor Wickham, and further goals from Jozy Altidore and Adam Johnson, sealed their progression.
Sunderland duo Lee Cattermole and Wes Brown (both knee) could return for the match but, out-of-favour defender Phil Bardsley (foot) is sidelined indefinitely.
However, Di Canio has confirmed that striker Steven Fletcher will travel with the squad.
Fletcher injured his ankle on international duty for Scotland in March and has not featured for Sunderland since. He scored 11 Premier League goals in 28 appearances last season.
Palace and Sunderland have never played each other in the Premier League, with their last top-flight meeting coming in March 1991, a fixture Sunderland won 2-1.
The two sides have met on 10 occasions since, with Sunderland winning five of them.