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Crystal Palace travel to Sheffield Wednesday

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CRYSTAL Palace head north up the M1 today to face a Sheffield Wednesday side looking to climb away from the relegation zone.

The Owls played a significant part in the Eagles' season on September 1 last year when they lost 2-1 at Selhurst Park to end their 18-game unbeaten run under boss Dave Jones.

And it kick-started Palace's season with their first win before going 15 games unbeaten themselves and moving up into an automatic promotion spot.

After Tuesday's win against Bristol City, Ian Holloway's men will be keen to continue their winning ways and keep up with the promotion pack.

With Cardiff City and Leicester City both losing, it helped the Eagles further but they will certainly have an eye on catching Hull City in second place, with the Tigers visiting Selhurst Park on March 5.

Defenders Joel Ward and Danny Gabbidon look to have recovered from injury and may travel up with the squad, but the likes of Jazz Richards, Peter Ramage and Damien Delaney have been performing well.

Jonny Williams could continue in midfield although Jacob Butterfield will be pushing him for a starting place, while Yannick Bolasie put in a fantastic shift against Bristol City.

However, Stephen Dobbie cracked home a wonderful free-kick so Holloway has a big decision – he may even decide to rest Wilfried Zaha, who has been patched up over the past week or so with a couple of niggly injuries.

Glenn Murray certainly does not think it will be an easy game after Wednesday's turn of form recently.

"Everyone seems to be fighting for something whether you're down at the bottom or top, but it will be a hard place to go on Saturday," he said.

"We'll have to be at our best to get the points there."

Looking at the opposition, Wednesday have had a good start to the new year so far and have clawed their way out of the relegation zone.

Leroy Lita has signed on loan from Swansea City while Sunderland striker Connor Wickham has also joined them on loan, and after starting together in the goalless draw at Birmingham on Tuesday they will probably start together tomorrow.

Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland knows the threat Palace will pose to his side but wants to put on a good show for the home faithful.

The Owls have suffered just one defeat in their last 11 league games and have moved away from the relegation zone. He said: "All games are tough in this division and if you look at some of the results from Tuesday you would not have predicted them.

"Crystal Palace won again so it's going to be a tough, tough game, make no mistake about that. They are going to come here with confidence but we have to give our fans something to cheer about."

With just over a dozen games remaining, Kirkland hopes his side keep battling their way to safety.

"The lads did really well, we knew it would be a scrappy game because both teams are battling for points," he said.

"We're in a good run of form, the lads are defending well but we were a little bit disappointed we didn't capitalise on some great situations we had at Birmingham.

"We have 14 games left now and every game will be vital but if we keep doing what we've been doing, then I'm sure we will be OK."

Meanwhile, Wednesday's goalscoring defender Reda Johnson may continue to miss out with a long-standing foot injury.

Crystal Palace travel to Sheffield Wednesday


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