Allardyce set to keep faith with West Ham team

Hammers manager Sam Allardyce will resist wholesale changes for Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce will resist the temptation to make radical changes at Crystal Palace on Saturday as the team look to bounce back from Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat against Ipswich Town.

The Hammers manager is likely to revert back to a lone-striker formation for the trip to Selhurst Park after the failure of the 4-4-2 experiment on Tuesday, but the personnel is likely to remain fairly constant.

Matt Taylor and Winston Reid are both battling to be fit for Saturday’s game after missing the Ipswich clash through injury, while Freddie Piquionne returns from his three-match ban after being sent off against Portsmouth.

Allardyce is looking for a reaction from his players after the Ipswich defeat and is confident he will get one.

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“We bounced back after losing to Cardiff with a win at Doncaster, but obviously the Crystal Palace game will be much more difficult,” said the manager.

“It will be tough again on Saturday, but based on our away form and results, I expect us to be better than we were against Ipswich.

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“That gives us the opportunity to get a result at Palace.”

Allardyce has plenty of options, but he is unlikely to make many changes on Saturday.

“I made changes against Ipswich, so I don’t think we will do that,” he insisted. “It depends how Matt Taylor’s injury is and how Winston Reid’s injury is.”

The manager though is likely to revert to the formula that has seen them win three and draw one of their away games so far.

“In terms of selection against Ipswich, we just felt that playing with the two up top was the right thing to do,” he said.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t work very well for us.”

The manager is certainly not pressing the panic button just yet. Tuesday’s defeat was their first in seven league matches.

But he will be looking for a reaction and he does not believe that the players are suffering from the pressure of being favourites to win the Championship.

“It’s not pressure for them, it is a pleasure. Pressure is a pleasure, not a hindrance,” he concluded.

For interactive coverage of Crystal Palace v West Ham, log on to from 2.30pm this Saturday. You can set a reminder to make sure you don’t miss any of the action at Selhurst Park.

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