Chris Sutton predicts West Ham United vs Crystal Palace result for BBC Sport amid verdict on Liverpool controversy
Chris Sutton has predicted West Ham to only get a draw at Crystal Palace when he believes they still need another win to reach Premier League safety.
Roy Hodgson’s remarkable return to his former club has apparently arrested their slide and has them looking secure up in 12th place and eight points from the drop zone, although a draw and a defeat in his past two games seems to have ended his new manager bounce.
Two wins and a draw from the Hammers has done a decent job in lifting some pressure itself, which is why David Moyes was so furious the unbeaten run came to an end against Liverpool in midweek as no late penalty was awarded late on, and Sutton has backed in him in that stance while predicting a 1-1 draw on Saturday (29 April).
In his BBC Sport predictions column Sutton said: “I can understand why West Ham’s David Moyes was so upset after his side lost to Liverpool on Wednesday because they should have had that late penalty for Thiago’s handball.
“The Hammers have been much improved in recent weeks but I think they still need another win to get to safety and it is asking a lot for them to get it at Selhurst Park.
“Crystal Palace’s unbeaten run under Roy Hodgson ended at Molineux on Tuesday after three wins and a draw but it wasn’t as if they played badly. I’d be surprised if they lost again here, especially because I don’t think West Ham will keep a clean sheet.”
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Back on the horse
All too often this season a strike of misfortune has put an end to any West Ham momentum and seen Moyes revert to negativity to disastrous effect.
The lack of a penalty on Thiago on Wednesday (26 April) can’t be allowed to see the good work in the previous three games go to waste when safety is not yet secured.
The teams below the Irons appear to be doing worse, but a surprise victory from Nottingham Forest over Brighton should be a reminder that it is not over until it is mathematically secured.
Hodgson wouldn’t be the first Premier League manager to experience a lift in his team’s fortunes upon arrival only for it to fall away this season so if there is an opening right now West Ham must take advantage.
The team has finally started looking a bit more like what everybody expected in the past few games, but it is so late it may not save the manager’s job.
Last season’s Hammers side would have been a decent bet to go to Palace and get a result so if they are finally rediscovering that identity then three points here would go a long way.