Crystal Palace 2019-20 season preview

Established: 1905
Stadium: Selhurst Park
Location: London (south)
Head Coach: Roy Hodgson
Nickname: The Eagles
Rival(s): Brighton & Hove Albion
Top-Division Titles: Zero

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Best possible XI:

Guaita
Ward
Tomkins
Sakho
Van Aanholt
Milivojevic
McArthur
Zaha
Ayew
Townsend
Benteke

Key arrivals: Jordan Ayew (Swansea City),

Key departures: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Man United), Jason Puncheon, Julian Speroni, Pape Souare (All released)

Ranking their offseason: It has not been a great offseason for Palace, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka sold, Roy Hodgson has lost his second best player and Wilfried Zaha is not happy about staying put. Not ideal for Roy Hodgson. On the pitch they’ve had some strange results during preseason and it’s safe to say that only one key addition, turning Ayew’s loan into a permanent deal, is quite poor given Palace’s lack of squad depth. If they can keep hold of Zaha in the final days of the window then all is not lost. If they do lose their star forward, it has been an awful summer for the Eagles. 3/10

Star player: If he can keep his focus it is Wilfried Zaha but it seems like he is very unhappy about having his move away blocked because Palace wanted $100 million for him. Mamadou Sakho is a huge part of this team at the other end of the pitch. The central defender has been a rock since arriving from Liverpool and although injuries have hit him hard, Sakho is so influential to Palace’s entire defense. They play on the counter with Zaha, Andros Townsend and others flying forward and that means they have to soak up plenty of pressure defensively. Sakho is the leader of their defense and he could be very busy this season.

Coaches’ Corner: An experienced manager who does exactly what it says on the tin. Hodgson provides reliability and calms everything down. Losing AWB and having to deal with Zaha’s ‘beef’ would rile most managers, but he will shrug his shoulders and get on with things. This season will not be easy for Palace but they know their limitations in the transfer market and Hodgson has worked wonders in the past few seasons to keep them away from a proper relegation scrap.

PST predicts: This could be a lot tougher season than most expect for Palace. It all hinges on Zaha being ready to go between now and January when he may move on. Often labelled a one-man team, Palace will need plenty of others to stand tall and score goals if they’re going to push for a top 10 finish. They can’t rely on Luka Milivojevic’s penalties and set piece goals to bail them out this season.

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