Martin Montoya and Yves Bissouma came in for Brighton, with Dale Stephens suspended, and Steven Alzate dropped to the bench.
For Palace, Christian Benteke made his first start since August while Jeffrey Schlupp's hip injury meant Jairo Riedewald came in at left-back and Scott Dann also came in.
The young Dong joined a squad containing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs and Ruud van Nistelrooy and he still talks glowingly of manager Ferguson.
Newspaper headline: The real Christmas curse
"The decision is based on the continual series of negative results," the club said, with general manager Toon Gerbrands adding "it's a large decline and unworthy of PSV."
Top at Christmas in inaugural 1992-93 season, the Canaries have been through the ringer since. This season they are back in the top flight after winning the Championship but involved in a relegation battle.
The history books have it more often than not that if a team is top when the turkey dinners are handed out, then they will celebrate again with the title come the end of the season. Not always.
"I just did some simple make-up," he said, adding with self-deprecating humor, "If you say that I had plastic surgery, the way I am now is probably a plastic surgery failure."
A large-scale safety operation will be deployed around the match involving 3,000 security personnel while both teams have been instructed to travel to the stadium from the same hotel.
"We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support."
The 2011 World Cup win lifted the nation only a few months after the Fukushima disaster that left 18,000 dead or missing and rendered large portions of the country's northeast uninhabitable.
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