James Tomkins

Crystal Palace 3-0 Southampton: Benteke brace backs embattled Pardew

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  • Defensive gaffes cost Saints
  • Palace jumps 13th
  • Benteke nabs two

Christian Benteke and James Tomkins made Southampton’s sleepy defense pay time and again as Crystal Palace spoke up for embattled manager Alan Pardew with a 3-0 win on Saturday at Selhurst Park.

Pardew’s seat was red-hot following six-straight losses, but the Eagles were desperate for the ball in an easy win over sloppy Saints.

Saints are now 11th with 17 points, three points and two places above the hosts.

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Saints settled into the match fairly quickly, but had trouble troubling the Palace goal. Sofiane Boufal did some delightful work inside the box to set up a chance that ended with Ryan Bertrand‘s shot deflecting wide of the near post.

Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha were lively on the counter, the latter cueing up a header that Christian Benteke dove to head just wide of the goal in the 25th minute.

Benteke got his goal when Fraser Forster had an all-timer of a gaffe, missing his clearance when his plant leg got a piece of it. The Belgian tapped in for an almost literal birthday gift.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Oriel Romeu allowed Tomkins his goal by inexplicably stopping his marking on a corner kick, and the defender bundled his effort across the line. 2-0… and stunning.

That wasn’t the end of it, with Benteke and Jason Puncheon shocking the Saints back line by working for a lobbed in prayer off a missed Saints clearance to make it 3-0.

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Crystal Palace buys Tomkins from West Ham for $13 million

cpfc.co.uk
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English center back James Tomkins is moving across London.

The 27-year-old had been at West Ham since age 7, and made 243 appearances for the Irons. He was a key figure in keeping the club’s 2011-12 Championship campaign the only one in the second tier.

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Tomkins is now joining Crystal Palace after the Eagles spent $13 million to pry him away from the Hammers. He was inspired by the opportunity to rejoin former boss Alan Pardew.

From CPFC.co.uk:

“I’m really excited to be here,” he said. “I was at West Ham United for a long time – I was there nearly 20 years since I was eight-years-old so it’s a good change for me and I’m really excited to get started here. It’s a massive club; they’re London based and I’ve worked with Alan Pardew before as a scholar.
“He helped me through by getting me training with the first-team when I was a kid and got my career started which I’ve always been thankful for, so it’s nice to be reunited with him. He’s been interested in signing me previously so it was an easy decision when I heard Palace were interested.”
Palace and West Ham allowed the same number of goals last season, but the Irons scored 26 more in finishing 20 points and eight places above the Eagles. Whether Pardew sees Tomkins name on the team sheet straightaway will be something to follow.

Watch Live: West Ham United vs. Leicester City (Lineups and Live Stream)

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West Ham United welcome Leicester City to Upton Park on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on USA and online via Live Extra) with both teams looking for back-to-back wins to start the season.

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The Hammers beat Arsenal away from home on the opening day in a shock win, while Leicester hammered four past Sunderland to get Claudio Ranieri’s reign off to the perfect start.

In team news West Ham make one change as Carl Jenkinson comes in at right back for James Tomkins. As for Leicester, they are unchanged.

LINEUPS

West Ham United: Adrian, Jenkinson, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Oxford, Kouyate, Noble, Payet, Sakho, Zarate. Subs: Randolph, Nolan, Tomkins, Jarvis, Obiang, Maiga, Lanzini

Leicester City: Schmeichel, De Laet, Huth, Morgan, Schlupp, Albrighton, Drinkwater, King, Mahrez, Okazaki, Vardy. Subs: Hammond, Kante, Kramaric, Ulloa, Fuchs, Benalouane, Maddison

Premier League Preview: Newcastle United vs. West Ham United

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  • Newcastle have taken 1 point from a possible 30
  • West Ham have won once in their last seven
  • Newcastle has won once in nine home games under Carver

Newcastle United are on the brink of the abyss. After an incredible slide down the standings since Alan Pardew left as manager in January the Magpies have been on an awful run and have lost nine of their last 10 and have a solitary point from the last 30 available.

[ RELATED: Hull vs. Man United preview ]

On Sunday they host West Ham (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on USA and online via Live Extra), a side coached by one of their former managers Sam Allardyce. For “Big Sam”, this may well be his final match in charge of the Hammers as his contract runs out at the end of the season. After getting a rough deal up at Newcastle, Allardyce would be quite happy to send them down.

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As long as Hull City lose to Manchester United on Sunday then Newcastle will be safe, but if Hull win then a Newcastle draw may not be enough as they currently sit two-points above the Tigers as they do battle to stay out of the final relegation place. Tension will be in the air at St James’ Park on Sunday and if the Magpies go down, expect it to be replaced with venomous chants against the despised owner Mike Ashley.

In team news Newcastle will welcome back defender Mike Williamson from suspension, while Siem de Jong could return but Papiss Cisse is not fit enough to make the bench. West Ham will be without James Collins but James Tomkins returns to the squad, as does captain and former Newcastle skipper Kevin Nolan.

What they’re saying

John Carver on the finale: “There are no second chances now. This is the last game, it’s the cup final we’ve been talking about. We all know what we have to do and we all take responsibility. It’s not about me taking the blame or [owner] Mike [Ashley] and [managing director] Lee [Charnley], we all take responsibility.”

Sam Allardyce on his future: “One way or another, my future will be sorted out on Monday. We’ll all know more then. I’m not personally having a meeting but my agent will be available to speak to the owners.”

Prediction

Newcastle need a win big time but Big Sam would love to play the role of spoiler on Sunday to send his old club down. The Magpies will be short on confidence and if news filters through of an early goal for Hull against Manchester United then the nerves will be jangling at St James’ Park. West Ham don’t have much to play for but I think they will sneak a draw and make things very uncomfortable for Newcastle. 2-2.

Premier League Preview: West Ham United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

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  • West Ham have not kept a clean sheet in their last 10 games
  • If Spurs win their final two PL games they’ll equal their best-ever points total (72)
  • The Hammers are aiming to beat Spurs for the third-straight time this season

West Ham welcome London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to Upton Park on Saturday (Watch live on NBCSN, 7:45 a.m. ET and online via live Extra) as the Hammers aim to secure their Premier League status.

The Hammers have lost four straight and all of a sudden they are five points ahead of the drop zone and could go into the final match of the season with a chance of being relegated. The boo boys have been out to get Sam Allardyce as West Ham’s fans want a change at the top. Should West Ham lose to their massive rivals Tottennham this weekend, expect more demonstrations against ‘Big Sam.’

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As for Spurs, they continue to plod along in sixth spot and will qualify for the Europa League with a win. However Tim Sherwood’s future is still up in the air and uncertainty is lingering around White Hart Lane.

In terms of the match, the Hammers have gone to White Hart Lane and won twice already this season, beating Spurs 3-0 in the league and then again in a League Cup quarter final. Can they do the treble? Andy Carroll needs to find his scoring boots if the Hammers bag a big win, with the England international scoring just twice since he returned from injury in January.

What they’re saying

West Ham’s James Tomkins on the rivalry: “It’s a big game for all of us, really. We need to win to get ourselves out of trouble and, with it being Tottenham, we know what it means to the fans and everyone. It’s a massive game.”

Tim Sherwood on West Ham’s threats: “We’re disappointed with the two home results. Obviously, the League Cup game was my first and we dominated but got suckered by a couple of long balls forward, and that’s what West Ham are all about. We’re expecting that. They won in the league with breakaway goals, we know they have a threat and we will treat them with respect.”

Prediction

There is a toxic atmosphere around Upton Park as the home fans are not happy with the style of play and want Allardyce out. Be careful what you wish for, Hammers fans. West Ham are hard to beat and will give Spurs’ defense plenty of problems but as we saw away at Stoke City last weekend, Tottenham are able to grind out a result when needed. I expect Sherwood’s boys to do the same and beat West Ham.