League Two Form Guide
Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
By: Stephen Bateman
The Mariners travel to Selhurst Park on Tuesday night, looking to put Saturday's away defeat at Blackburn firmly behind them. Statistically, Grimsby have no chance, losing on the last five visits to Palace by an aggregate scoreline of 15-1!
Recent performances have suggested, however, that Lennie Lawrence may have managed to paper over the cracks for the time being - the Grimsby revival has been directly linked to the arrival of Danish striker David Nielsen and the return to fitness of Peter Handyside. It would still seem, however, that Lawrence's concerns lay mainly with Grimsby's lack of firepower. Lawrence said after the Blackburn defeat "We had four chances and if we want a result we have got to score one. That's not a criticism, it's a fact of life."
This is a problem that has particularly afflicted the Mariners away from home and Lawrence will be looking for some improvement on Tuesday night. It is hoped that Wayne Burnett will play some part in the evenings proceedings, giving Town the creative midfield spark that has been so lacking in recent weeks.
Leicester City loan midfielder Stuart Campbell returns to the squad after getting the all-clear from the Fox's club doctor. Alan Pouton however again misses out with a knee injury
Grimsby Town (from): Coyne, McDermott, Butterfield, Raven, Handyside, Groves, Gallimore, Donovan, Coldicott, Campbell, D Smith, Allen, Livingstone, Nielsen, Croudson, Clare, Jeffrey, Burnett.
Just like the missus when you come home late from the pub after a few too many, the Eagles are not happy birds. Unlike the missus they went down for the ninth time this season when they lost at home to Portsmouth on Saturday after letting a two goal advantage slip.
Palace manager Alan Smith sounds like a man clutching at straws, blaming his sides poor run of results on 'bad luck'. The fact is that Palace are currently languishing in 22nd place with just 8 points and it's rumoured that a poor result on Tuesday night against the Mariners may see the end of Smith's reign at Selhurst.
Palace's spirits will be raised somewhat by Mondays news that they have re-signed former favourite Dougie Freedman for Â£600,000 from Nottingham Forest. It is expected that he will go straight into the starting line-up for Tuesday's match.
Crystal Palace (from): Kolinko, Smith, Mullins, C. Morrison, Black, Forssell, Freedman, Rubins, Pollock, Harrison, Staunton, A. Morrison, Carlisle, Rodger, Gray, Thomson, Frampton.
This is a match that both sides will desperately want to win. Palace, if not Grimsby too, will certainly see this as a 'six-pointer' although the added pressure on Alan Smith may work against them.
Historically it would be silly to predict anything other than a home win, yet on recent form the Mariners should edge it. Grimsby are long overdue a win at Selhurst Park and this might well be it - the Crystal Palace is cracked!
Livvo to score a couple (thereby becoming 'the prolific Steve Livingstone'. Ahem) and Town to sneak it 2-1.
Our counterparts at the Palace Rivals site have provided directions to Selhurst Park which can be found here
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