Dale Stephens has praised Beram Kayal’s adaptation to the Premier League as the old midfield firm prepare for a top-flight reunion.

Stephens and Kayal are expected to start as a pair for the first time in the elite at Crystal Palace on Saturday as Davy Propper begins a three-match ban.

Kayal impressed as the injured Stephens’ stand-in for the defeat by Leicester having struggled in the previous league fixture at Everton.

Stephens, who watched the Leicester game from the stand, said: “I think Beram has shown what he can do.

“He has come in and played well and waited patiently for his opportunity and is going to get another one now.

“Davy will be a big miss but that is the referee’s decision and we have to live by that and we are going to miss him now for three games.”

Kayal and Stephens started 43 league games together two seasons ago and a further 11 last term.

They were both in starting line-ups at Chelsea and Tottenham this season but as part of a midfield three along with the so far ever-present Propper.

The duo have played as a two without Propper in the FA Cup, including the 2-1 third-round win over Palace.

Stephens believes Albion, currently on 35 points, must aim for 40 to stay up and rates the six remaining games as the biggest of his career.

He added: “I have enjoyed it so far this season.

“Everyone is looking forward to playing in this league next season but there is a lot of work to be done before then.”