Crystal Palace face a trip to the City Ground on Saturday (March 30) to face Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.

The hosts have recently been hit with a four-point deduction, which has seen them drop into the bottom three with just nine matches to go.

Forest’s points deduction has seen Palace open up their gap to the drop zone, with there now being an eight-point gap between the two sides, and Palace have a game in hand.

The Eagles players had a mixed international break. Jefferson Lerma and Daniel Munoz’s Colombia beat Spain 1-0, thanks to an acrobatic winner from Munoz.

However, goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has been ruled out for the rest of the season, and Euro 2024, after undergoing surgery on an elbow injury sustained in England training.

With it being three weeks since their last Premier League game and Saturday’s fixture, Palace did play in a friendly against Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt, where they came out 1-0 winners.

More importantly, Crystal Palace stuck to their three at the back formation, however lined up with a 3-5-2 instead of the 3-4-3 they have used in all Premier League games under Oliver Glasner.

Predicted Palace line-up

Despite this Palace may still go with a similar approach to their last three Premier League games against Forest, lining up in a 3-4-3 formation.

With Johnstone’s injury, Dean Henderson is likely to see out the rest of the season in the Palace net. With two goals in three games, it would be expected than Jean-Phillipe Mateta will keep his place leading the line, with Odsonne Edouard staying on the bench.

Predicted Crystal Palace starting XI

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson

Defence: Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen, Chris Richards

Midfield: Daniel Munoz, Adam Wharton, Jefferson Lerma, Tyrick Mitchell

Attack: Eberechi Eze, Jordan Ayew, Jean-Phillipe Mateta


The stats

Here are key stats ahead of Saturday’s fixture:

  • The hosts are unbeaten in seven Premier League meetings against Crystal Palace. It’s the longest unbeaten run they have against a Premier League side, and also the longest winless run Palace have against an opponent.

  • Crystal Palace have conceded more goals in the final five minutes of Premier League games this season than any other side, at 14 goals conceded.

  • Mateta has been involved in three goals in his last four games, which is as many as in his previous 18 matches.

  • Forest’s Chris Wood is looking to become only the seventh player to reach double digits for Premier League goals five times since the 2017-18 season. He would join a list with the likes of Mohammed Salah, Harry Kane and Heung Min Son.


The City Ground will be a testing atmosphere for these Palace players to play in since the hosts' points deduction. Forest will see this game as a must win, however Palace may see this as a match which could almost guarantee their safety.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-1 Crystal Palace