26 mins: A succession of inaccurate crosses from Palace ends with Van Aanholt’s inaccurate shot.
22 mins: At the other end McArthur cuts in from the right, scuffs his way past a couple of challenges and then shoots wide from the 18-yard line, with Zaha over to the left gesticulating and screaming in frustration and anguish at being ignored.
20 mins: Now a Leicester corner is won by Evans, who heads over from 10 yards.
19 mins: Chance for Leicester! It starts with a fabulous first-time flick from Barnes in his own half, which finds Maddison. His ball to Vardy is also great, and he hares into the left side of the area and, with Perez sprinting to offer him a crossing option, hits the goalkeeper.
17 mins: Palace win a free kick deep on the right, which Milivojevic curls over the area and out of play for a goal kick.
14 mins: Palace’s 4-5-1 is frustrating Leicester so far, with the visitors failing to find any space in the attacking third (Van Aanholt dozing excepted).
12 mins: A dozing Van Aanholt has his pocket picked by Perez, and is lucky that the resulting low cross picks out a defender, and is cleared.
10 mins: And another Ayew shot! Zaha’s fine pass with the outside of his right foot sets him off, but he should probably have instead tried to feed McArthur as he burst into the box. Instead he has a wild effort of his own, from 20-odd yards.
8 mins: A sniff for Palace! Ayew passes to Zaha on the left, who gives it to Schlupp, whose backheel finds Ayew again, but his shot in blocked.
8 mins: A couple of tasty challenges: Cahill’s elbow smacks Perez’s head on the way down from winning a header, and a few moments later Tielemans trips Ayew. Neither is worth a caution.
5 mins: Shot! Leicester burst forward on the break, Tielemans passes to Barnes on the left, and his right-footed shot from just outside the area is straight at Guaita.
5 mins: Palace work the ball into the Leicester area, but once there McArthur is swiftly dispossessed.
3 mins: Little action as yet. Leicester have had a gentle foray down the right and a half-hearted push down the left.
1 min: Peeeeep! Crystal Palace gt the game started, with the traditional hoof down the left flank.
In case you’re wondering why Crystal Palace’s players are wearing black armbands today, the club says this is in memory of “dear friend and colleague Ady, who sadly passed away yesterday”. Adem Gredelj was their first team security officer. There’s a tiny bit more info here.
And out they come! We’re just moments away from actual action now!
The players are in the tunnel, Palace eschewing the modern trend of emerging in zip-up keep-warm long-sleeved training tops to just go with short sleeves from the off.
I can’t even begin to offer an explanation for this:
On Sky, Andy Hinchliffe is then asked for his thoughts on the game. “They are a counter-attacking team, Crystal Palace,” he says. Fight!
Roy Hodgson also has a natter. He’s feeling very chatty indeed: a couple of gentle prods from the interviewer and he’s off:
Wilf can play on either side, there’s no problem with that at all. He’s equally effective on either side and he’s playing well for us so we trust him to do a good job for us whichever side I choose to play him on. The fact is we aren’t blessed with a lot of goalscorers, everyone knows that. The ones we got are doing a good enough job, I think.
I hear us described as a counter-attacking team but I don’t think that’s an accurate description. We don’t have a particularly low block. We play quite high at the back, as high as probably any team in the league, and we are quite happy to get forward and we have midfield players who are good on the ball. So if sometimes we have been forced into counter-attacking mode it’s because Man City are very good with the ball, as were Arsenal in the second half, and it’s not easy to get it back sometimes.
I’m sure they’ve been delighted with that result. It’s a nice thing to enjoy, I’m sure they’re buoyed by it and it must have done wonders for the team’s confidence. But quite often this year we’ll be playing a team on the back of a good result and they’ll come here very confidently. It’s a question of our preparation, our desire, our hunger, our preparation, our ability if you like to put the pieces of our game together that we need to put together.If we can do that I think we’re in for a good game.
Brendan Rodgers has a chat:
The consistency of the team’s important. We’ve tweaked it a few times but in the main the consistency has been there. The last four games against Palace Leicester have lost, so we have an opportunity today to change that. We have a great group of players.
The idea is to keep improving, keep developing. It’s a game of patience.We’ll need to be persistent int he game. They’ve only conceded three and score four at home. So it’s probably going to be a tight game. We need to work the ball, keep our patience, keep our tactical discipline. If it’s tight we’ve got to stay calm and if the opportunities come we need to take them. The key for us is to perform well.
Today’s teams are in! Leicester stick with the side that smashed Southampton, Palace bring in Schlupp against his former club, plus Guaita in goal. Townsend and Hennessey drop out:
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Tomkins, Cahill, van Aanholt, Zaha, Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur, Schlupp, Ayew. Subs: Dann, Meyer, Hennessey, Benteke, McCarthy, Victor Camarasa, Kelly.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell, Ndidi, Perez, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy. Subs: Justin, Morgan, Gray, Albrighton, Ward, Iheanacho, Praet.
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Here’s the referee, Paul Tierney, performing the ancient and mystical “Touching of the Ball” ceremony at Selhurst Park earlier today.
Crystal Palace have run Leicester ragged over the last two seasons, doing the double over them twice and racking up 3-0, 4-1 and 5-0 wins along the way (along with a scrappy 1-0 win at Selhurst Park last December in which Luka Milivojevic scored with their only shot on target). But the day after the teams last met in February Claude Puel was sacked, and for Leicester everything has changed since.
Under Brendan Rodgers this season the Foxes have lost just twice, at Old Trafford and Anfield, both times by a single (penalty) goal. So a third successive Palace double seems unlikely, but then achieving unlikely stuff is what has pushed them up to their current league position of ninth. Leicester would overtake Chelsea and go third if they win; Palace would move up one place with a draw but into fifth – fifth – if they win. Welcome all! Team news in a jiffy.