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PRESS PREVIEW: CRYSTAL PALACE

13 April 2018

REX/Shutterstock
Crystal Palace celebrate scoring against AFC Bournemouth last weekend.

Mark Ritson, Digital Football Writer for the Croydon Advertiser, gives us the lowdown on Saturday’s opponents at Selhurst Park.

Overall assessment of the campaign so far?

It could and would have been a lot better had they not suffered so many injuries to different key players. I know you need to have a big squad which can cope, but Palace's had been pushed to the limit at times this season, and who knows where they would be had they not been so unlucky.

Even Roy Hodgson stated recently that he hasn't had a full squad all fit together at the same since his arrival in the Autumn. 

Roy Hodgson’s impact – done the job he was brought in to do?

He's done a great job, hauling pointless and goalless Palace off the bottom of the league after the disastrous Frank de Boer appointment. 

They have a lot more organisation, discipline and workmanlike attributes to their game under Hodgson, with the flair players able to add that extra piece of quality. He has definitely done the job initially, and now he has to finish it off by keeping the club in the Premier League. 

How can Brighton stop dangerous players like Wilfried Zaha? 

Zaha is the club's talisman and Palace's key player. If Brighton are going to stop him, they'll need to make sure he doesn't cut inside or hit them on the break out wide.

He was utilised up front last weekend at AFC Bournemouth, so it will be interesting to see which position he takes up at Selhurst Park.

Of course, Andros Townsend can create opportunities on his day, while Luka Milivojevic is the leader in the middle of the park - he's strong from penalties and free-kicks.

Will Crystal Palace stay up? A result for either this weekend could be decisive? 

I think they will. They have a favourable run-in on paper, coming up against Brighton, Watford, Leicester, Stoke and West Brom. 

Of course, Saturday's game will be extremely tough, but Palace will feel they have the edge being at home, backed by their supporters. Brighton have a very tough schedule left and taking three points would be big before facing Tottenham, Burnley, Man United, Man City and Liverpool. Overall, I think Palace will pick up between seven and11 points in their remaining five games.


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