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April 25 2019 5.04pm

Key clashes: Palace v Fulham

January 31 2019

Andros Townsend

Andros Townsend

Crystal Palace's meeting with Fulham will feature intriguing battles all over the pitch, writes Hunter Young.

Fulham have not enjoyed an ideal return to the Premier League with matchday 25 finding them in the relegation zone and six points from safety. Despite a poor season, The Cottagers earned a massive 4-2 win over Brighton in midweek and will look to leverage that victory into a run of results.

Palace endured another frustrating week with a draw to Southampton tarnishing the recent FA Cup win over Tottenham. This is a massive game for both teams with the threat of relegation looming large for both sides, Fulham in particular.

Andros Townsend v Tim Ream

Tim Ream spent the early part of this season out of the starting line-up, but has enjoyed a recent run of starts on the right side of the Fulham back three. The veteran American will be looking to put together strong performances in hopes of working into new national team coach Gregg Berhalterís plans.

Wilfried Zaha will likely spend much of the week regretting his decision to clap at Andre Marriner late in the Southampton game as it resulted in his sending-off. With Zahaís suspension, more pressure will be placed on Andros Townsend to create going forward for the Eagles. Townsend has played well recently with two goals and an assist in his last three games.

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Scott Dann v Aleksandar Mitrovic

Despite most of Fulhamís team struggling to adjust to the Premier League, Mitrovic has done well, hitting double-figure goals already. The Serbian in an imposing physical threat, capable of scoring with his head and his feet. Coming off a double in the win over Brighton, Mitrovic will look to redeem himself for the opening game in which he missed chances as Fulham fell to Palace 2-0.

Scott Dann came on late in the game against Southampton after James Tomkins picked up a knock. While Tomkins' status is unknown, should he miss the game, Dann will replace him in the line-up. Dann has been linked with a move to Fulham, however manager Roy Hodgson has said there will be no further exits this window. A start would mark the veteran defenderís first in the Premier League since the Manchester City draw more than a year ago.

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Cheikhou Kouyate v Jean Michael Seri

Jean Michael Seri, Fulhamís summer transfer coup, may have not lived up to all expectations but he has still been a vital part of the Cottagers' midfield this season. The Ivory Coast international is an excellent passer but can get caught out defensively sometimes. Forward players such as Andre Schurrle, Ryan Sessegnon, and Mitrovic rely on Seriís passing to start attacks.

Every week it becomes more and more surprising that West Ham let Cheikhou Kouyate join The Eagles this summer. The lanky defensive midfielder has proven resolute in shielding the defence and after his exit against Southampton the team was clearly affected. Kouyate has also proven an asset going forward, playing a key role in Zahaís opener in midweek.

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