Feb 8, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace
3-1
West BromWest Bromwich Albion
Ince (15'), Ledley (27'), Chamakh (69' pen.)
FT(HT: 2-0)
Bifouma (46')
Jones (38'), Yacob (64'), Brunt (78')

Preview: Crystal Palace vs. West Bromwich Albion

New West Bromwich Albion manager Pepe Mel faces the media before the press conference to announce his arrival, at The Hawthorns on January 16, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and West Brom at Selhurst Park, where Pepe Mel will go in search of his first win as Baggies boss.

At the fourth attempt, Pepe Mel will go searching for his first win as West Bromwich Albion manager when they visit Crystal Palace this Saturday.

The Spaniard is yet to taste victory since becoming Baggies boss last month, although draws against both Merseyside clubs could be regarded as positive results.

However, it is hardly the impactful arrival that Tony Pulis had on Palace upon his November appointment. The Eagles are now out of the bottom three having been branded relegation certainties pre-Pulis.

The Welshman also oversaw a 2-0 FA Cup victory over West Brom earlier in the season to even things up with Albion, who won by the same scoreline in the reverse Premier League fixture.

Mel is likely to start Victor Anichebe, a goalscorer in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool last weekend, up front at the expense of Matej Vydra. Nicolas Anelka's disciplinary problems won't keep him out, but a knee injury will, while Stephane Sessegnon is not due back for another month as he nurses a groin concern.

Jonas Olsson was substituted in the first half against the Reds after suffering a hamstring strain and his replacement, Diego Lugano, should deputise from the off at Selhurst Park, playing in front of England international Ben Foster, who Mel has described this week as 'the best goalkeeper in the country'.

Home form - they have recorded consecutive wins in London - and a consistent selection policy has been key to Palace's improvement under Pulis, who is unlikely to make major changes to the XI that started the defeat to Arsenal, but could include all four of his transfer deadline-day signings in the squad.

Out of Scott Dann, Wayne Hennessey, Thomas Ince and Joe Ledley, the latter is the most likely to be handed a full debut on Saturday and Kagisho Dikgacoi could make way for the former Celtic midfielder.

Recent form

Palace: LWLWLW

WBA: DLDLLW

Possible starting lineups

Palace: Speroni; Ward, Delaney, Gabbidon, Parr; Puncheon, Ledley, Jedinak, Bolasie; Jerome, Chamakh

WBA: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Lugano, Ridgewell; Gera, Yacob, Mulumbu, Brunt; Berahino, Anichebe

Sports Mole says: 1-0

Luis Suarez of Liverpool scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on October 26, 2013
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