Matt Muir emails in: “Nothing to contribute to your MBM whatsoever, but David Hopkin was my favourite Chelsea player for a while, mainly for slightly cultish reasons. You really don’t see footballers who look like that anymore.”
Zack Lawrence emails in: “It hurts me to say this but I’ve been impressed by Leeds this season. The way they play, even when they lose they still go at the opposition. They have done a lot better than I expected this season. Wish we could have some of them players such as Bamford at Boro…”
Marcelo Bielsa makes no changes from the team that lost to Everton last week. Roy Hodgson has no such luxury, as Wilfried Zaha is missing and Michy Batshuayi dropped to the bench as Jean-Philippe Mateta and Tyrick Mitchell come in. Palace have been hit badly by injuries and whatever else, and could only name six subs tonight.
Roy’s also eight years older than Steve Coppell, who became Palace manager in 1984.
Here are the teams
Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Cooper, Struijk, Alioski, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Raphinha, Bamford, Harrison.
Subs: Casilla, Roberts, Costa, Davis, Gelhardt, Cresswell, Shackleton, Jenkins, Huggins.
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Clyne, Dann, Cahill, Van Aanholt, Mitchell, Riedeald, Milivojevic, Eze, Ayew, Mateta.
Subs: Butland, Kouyate, Townsend, Benteke, Batshuayi, Kelly.
Well hello there. Here’s the latest spin on the eternal whirligig of football. Leeds Leeds Leeds’ revival came crashing last week when losing to Everton, while Roy Hodgson continues to maintain Palace in resolute mid-table after winning their last two matches against Wolves and Newcastle. Palace have also been freed from the traditional 3pm Saturday kick-offs where they have been tethered for much of the season. Or so it has felt. Though who knows anymore? Palace can climb above Marcelo Bielsa’s team with a win as both teams are level on 29 points, a healthy total at this point of the campaign.
When one thinks of Crystal Palace and Leeds, David Hopkin’s gap-toothed grin comes to mind. Neil Warnock managed both these clubs too, hardly an exclusive club but one to conjure with. Then there was Thomas Brolin, who also managed Palace, of course. Nigel Martyn was a superb servant in the goals for both too. Patrick Bamford will be playing against his former loan club tonight, as also will Andros Townsend. Again, there’s not much exclusivity there, either.
Kick-off at 8pm. Join me.