A big thank you to life long Place fan and my Scrabble nemesis, Kaan Atasoy, for taking time to answer some questions about our next fixture, a Saturday lunch time encounter.
A How is this season going for Palace. Have they met your expectations?
K Already beyond expectations. The bookies made us 3rd favourites for the drop and I fully expected to be in another relegation scrap but a cup semi final, mid table security, and with an eye on making the play offs I'm very happy with the season so far.
A Palace are a young side managed by a schoolboy, but there’s a lot of talent there, such as Zaha and Nathanial Clyne Any other exciting youngsters we should be looking out for?
K Dougie may be young but he's achieved a lot since he came here. The Palace ethos is to bring them through the ranks and as well as the two you've mentioned we have Welsh under 21 international Jonny William who's been a revelation. He's just coming back from injury though so won't be in the line up on Saturday. Though not classed as young, another academy lad, Scannel, also deserves a mention. Always gives 100%. And Darren Ambrose has been on fire lately, three of the Watford goals came for his set piece free kicks.
A Who would you say is your player of the season so far?
K Anthony Gardener. He's been a rock and had formed a great partnership with Paddy McCarthy. Last season we finished with minus 25 and now we're plus 3. What does that tell you?
A How would you describe the way Palace play?
K Keep it tight at the back and hit on the break.
A Does playing against West Ham feel like a cup final to Eagles fans or is it just another match?
K We've already had our cup final, beating Man Utd 2 -1 at OT. This is just another match.
A What do you make of the Hammer’s season so far?
K All going to plan. You installed a manager to do a specific job and that's what he's done. And you're consistent, and that's what's needed in the Championship.
A Which of our players do you most fear?
K Nolan. He's a dangerous player who comes in from midfield and gets on the end of a tap in. And Maynard is always a threat.
A You'll get cunted off for picking Nolan, I guarantee.
K. Really? Nah, I'll stick with my choice.
A And which West Ham player will be sent off?
A Yeah, I think we're all hoping that too. If you could have two West Ham players in your side, who and why?
K Maynard in an instant! We lack attacking edge. Tomkins is a really good young talent, I'd have him too.
A What’s your prediction for 2nd and 3rd spot of the Championship, behind West Ham?
K Any two from Birmingham/Reading/Southampton... And us..
(Interestingly Kaan didn't question my presumption that West Ham would finish top ).
A What would you prefer, three points on Saturday or ten minutes naked time with Kelly Brook?
K Ten minutes with Kelly Brook. There's plenty enough games left to get enough points to get into the play offs.
A And both as as likely to happen. Your prediction for the game?
A Finally, and what most WHOers have been waiting for, And what is your favourite potato or corn based snack?
K Tyrells Habas Fritas or anything by Walkers, I eat enough of them.
Kaan's excellent cuisine can be sampled at The Globe Inn, Milverton, Somerset.