Preview: Crystal Palace vs. West Ham United

Keith Millen, caretaker manager of Crystal Palace looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on August 16, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and West Ham at Selhurst Park as the Eagles prepare for another game without a permanent manager.

Crystal Palace are still managerless as they prepare to face West Ham United at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Keith Millen will again take caretaker charge, as he did for their opening-day Premier League defeat to Arsenal, with the club yet to appoint a successor to Tony Pulis.

Malky Mackay appeared destined for the Selhurst Park hotseat, but is no longer believed to be in the running, perhaps due to the emergence of alleged sexist, racist and homophobic texts sent by the Scot during his time in charge of Cardiff City.

Palace sporting director Iain Moody, who worked closely with Mackay at the Bluebirds, has resigned, with the pair under investigation by the Football Association over the aforementioned lewd messages.

Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Tim Sherwood is the new frontrunner for the post, while another man with strong White Hart Lane connections, Glenn Hoddle, has also been tipped as a possible candidate.

Bookmakers suggest that the Hammers could be the next top-flight club to part with their manager, with Sam Allardyce the favourite to be the next Premier League boss sacked.

The 59-year-old has already had to dismiss speculation over his future one game into the season, following their late loss to a Spurs team who played for 40 minutes with 10 men at Upton Park.

While there were signs of the more aesthetic football that West Ham's fans and owners are demanding in the London derby, the Irons fired a blank and Allardyce may now turn to £12m signing Enner Valencia.

The Ecuadorian World Cup star played nine minutes as a substitute last weekend as he continues to work his way back to full fitness, and he could displace Carlton Cole in the Hammers starting XI.

James Collins is suspended following his red card against Spurs, with James Tomkins expected to replace him. Guy Demel for Joey O'Brien at right-back could be a second change made to the West Ham defence.

Injury continues to rule out Andy Carroll, Matt Jarvis and Ravel Morrison, while Carl Jenkinson is also thought to be a week away from making his debut after joining on a season-long loan from Arsenal.

Millen is again not likely to drift too far from the plans that Pulis set in place for their curtain raiser at the Emirates Stadium, although he may be forced to bring in Damien Delaney for injury doubt Scott Dann.

Jason Puncheon serves his ban for his late sending-off against the Gunners, and with Jerome Thomas and Jonny Williams carrying knocks, Barry Bannan could be handed a start on the right wing.

Palace have kept five clean sheets in a six-match unbeaten run versus the Hammers going back to 2003.

Recent form

Palace: L

West Ham: L

Possible starting lineups

Palace: Speroni; Kelly, Hangeland, Delaney, Ward; Bolasie, Ledley, Jedinak, Bannan; Chamakh, Campbell

West Ham: Adrian; Demel, Reid, Tomkins, Cresswell; Kouyate, Noble, Downing, Nolan, Vaz Te; Valencia

Sports Mole says: 1-0

Who will win Saturday's match between Crystal Palace and West Ham at Selhurst Park?

Crystal Palace
West Ham
Draw
Crystal Palace
28.4%
West Ham
58.7%
Draw
12.8%
Manager Mauricio Pochettino of Southampton on the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Norwich City at St Mary's Stadium on March 15, 2014
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