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Palace Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 28/02/2002

THE MARINERS are now in with a realistic chance of staying up if they beat Palace at Blundell Park on Saturday, although they have yet another "Cup Final" on their hands.

Home > 2001-2002 Season > Previews > Palace (h)

The Bottom Line

Although Town won 3-1 on Tuesday night to get another three points, helping their bid to avoid relegation further, the game was undoubtedly marred by the broken leg of loan striker Martin Pringle. Town have now gone back to the drawing board, with no new faces allowed by the FA until three weeks, much to the disgust of the Grimsby fans. This means that Town have to cope with what they have got up front with Bradley Allen and Michael Boulding expected to provide the goals. A hard task maybe, but the league table has not changed.

A win over Trevor Francis' side on Saturday could mean that Town move out of the bottom three for the first time since 2001- a timely boost at a key stage in the season. Palace meanwhile had hit a rough patch of form before their 4-1 win over Barnsley on Tuesday night, and they will be eager to continue this at Blundell Park.

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Overall League Record






Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen scored his first goal of 2002 on Tuesday night - a goal that capped what has been a fine last two weeks for the former QPR hitman. Restored to the starting lineup against Sheffield United a fortnight ago, Allen gave an impressive performace up front against the Blades, and was unlucky to be dropped against Forest last week, but on Tuesday he played the whole 90 minutes against Stockport and formed a decent partnership with Martin Pringle. But for now he will partner Michael Boulding as he looks to be the man to keep Town in division one and earn himself a new contract.

Dougie Freedman

Experienced striker in his second spell at the club. Signed last season for £600,000 from Nottingham Forest, Freedman made an instant impression, scoring 4 goals in his first four games. He has also been banging the goals in this season, forming and excellent partnership with Clinton Morrison. An astute player, Dougie has previously played for Barnet, Palace, Wolves and Forest. Will be a major threat to the Mariners goal.

Town Team News

  • Martin Pringle and Steve Livingstone will not feature for the Mariners again this season.
  • Meanwhile, Paul Raven is still receiving treatment along with Menno Willems.
  • Andy Todd will probably not be risked, so Simon Ford will replace him.
  • Tony Gallimore serves the final game of his three match ban, David Smith will continue at left back.
  • Michael Boulding will start with Bradley Allen, with either Jonny Rowan or Michael Jeffrey set for a place on the bench.

  • Palace Team News

  • Defender Shaun Murphy plays the last game of his loan spell unless manager Trevor Francis decides to keep the Sheffield United man.
  • Julian Gray is doubtful with an ankle injury, meaning Tommy Black will get a rare start in midfield.
  • Danny Granville returns to the squad after suspension. But still out are Kit Symons and Tony Popovic.

  • Expected Line Ups

    1. Danny Coyne
    2. John Mcdermott
    8. David Smith
    11. Paul Groves
    25. Simon Ford
    9. Stuart Campbell
    6. Wayne Burnett
    7. Alan Pouton
    12. Danny Butterfield
    19. Bradley Allen
    35. Michael Boulding
    31. Matt Clarke
    4. Dean Austin
    7. Hayden Mullins
    38. Curtis Fleming
    26. Shaun Murphy
    2. Jamie Smith
    11. Tommy Black
    15. Aki Riihilahti
    14. Steven Thomson
    9. Dougie Freedman
    10. Clinton Morrison
    Substitutes Substitutes
    16. Stacy Coldicott
    20. Phil Jevons
    8. Mike Jeffrey
    4. Andy Todd
    13. Steve Croudson (GK)
    55. Adi Akinbiyi
    1. Alexanders Kolinko (GK)
    25. Jovan Kirovski
    8. Simon Rodger
    30. Danny Granville

    Last Time Out

    Town got thrashed 5-0 the last time they played Palace so Paul Groves and his men will want revenge for the humiliating defeat. This game signalled the start of a woeful spell for the Mariners, which saw them win only one of the next 19 league games! Since then, Palace have stayed in the top half of the table, fighting for a play off spot, but they have swapped managers with Birmingham - Steve Bruce going to St Andrews and Trevor Francis going to Selhurst Park.

    Grimsby: Coyne, McDermott, Smith, Groves, Broomes, Pouton (Burnett), Campbell, Willems, Butterfield, Jeffrey, Rowan (Allen).
    Subs: Beharall, Boulding and Croudson.  Report

    Palace Head-to-Head (66th on The Opposition Ladder).

    Fishy Prediction

    This is another winnable match for the Mariners, and if they play to their best, perhaps they will get another three points to help their desperate bid to stay up.

    Prediction: 1-0 to Grimsby. Reader's POMs


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