Will the Eagles be able to fly above the relegation zone once again?
Welcome back to ‘The 2019-20 Premier League Season Preview’ – a feature series that previews all 20 clubs of the Premier League ahead of the new football season.
We go from west to south London by previewing… Crystal Palace.
MANAGER: Roy Hodgson
CAPTAIN: Luka Milivojević
ODDS TO WIN THE LEAGUE: 1000-1 (via Oddschecker)
It’s fair to say Crystal Palace fans have been put through the mill since their return to the Premier League seven years ago. Palace have been scraping survival every season since their promotion, with a couple of near-escapes along the way.
Roy Hodgson has managed to keep The Eagles flying in the top flight of English football for the better part of the last two seasons, with the club’s ambition starting to become bigger with every passing campaign.
Despite this, the aim will surely still be survival first and foremost. In Hodgson Palace trust. Therein lies their real hope.
HOW THEY FINISHED IN THE LAST FIVE SEASONS
2014-15 – 10th (Premier League)
2015-16 – 15th (Premier League)
2016-17 – 14th (Premier League)
2017-18 – 11th (Premier League)
2018-19 – 12th (Premier League)
Premier League – 12th
FA Cup – Quarter-Finals
Carabao Cup – Fourth Round
Top Scorer – League: Luka Milivojević (12), All: Luka Milivojević (12)
Jordan Ayew (Swansea – £2.5m)
Stephen Henderson (Nottingham Forest – Free Transfer)
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United – £50m)
Jason Puncheon – Released
Bakary Sako – Released
Pape Souaré – Released
Julian Speroni – Released
GK – Hennessey, Guaita, Henderson
DF – Ward, van Aanholt, Tomkins, Dann, Sakho, Schlupp, Tavares, Inniss, Kelly, Woods, Riedewald
MD – Milivojević, Meyer, Kouyaté, McArthur, Dreher, Kirby
FW – Sørloth, Townsend, Zaha, Benteke, Wickham, Ayew
PLAYER TO LOOK OUT FOR – MAX MEYER
When he arrived at the club from Schalke last summer, much was expected from Max Meyer. Unfortunately for ‘The German Messi’ though, it just didn’t happen for him. There were flashes here and there of his talent, but nothing more.
Despite this, there is still a lot of belief around Meyer becoming a success at Selhurst Park, especially from Max himself as he knows that his own manager has complete faith in him to have a real impact at the club.
“The thing that most encouraged me was Roy was adamant I would still be here next season and that I would be very much part of his plans.”
HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAINST CHELSEA
Matches played – 54
Won – 12
Drawn – 15
Lost – 27
HOW MUCH OF A THREAT WILL THEY BE TO CHELSEA?
From time-to-time, Palace has had the tendency to be a thorn in the side of Chelsea, picking up the odd shock victory here and there.
But with only picking up three victories against the Blues since returning to the Premier League in 2013, I wouldn’t be too worried about the Eagles being too much of a problem this coming season.
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?
Limited spending and the loss of key players – most notably Wan-Bissaka – leaves Palace in a very precarious position. A position where this could easily be the season that the Eagles suffer Premier League ‘extinction’ so to speak. But in Roy Hodgson and Wilfried Zaha, there is a reason to believe they can extend their top-flight stay.
But it will be stressful for Palace fans.
Predicted position: 16th
Come back for part 8 tomorrow when we take our first to Merseyside to preview Everton.