Crystal Palace had to put their frustrating summer behind them at the weekend as Everton visited Selhurst Park to kick-off the 2019-20 Premier League season, days after their move for Wilfried Zaha fell through.
Palace fans have been left frustrated with Aaron Wan-Bissaka leaving the club without a replacement coming in, but the defensive performance was admirable as things ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
This is the first edition of our Crystal Palace Power Rankings, which recognise the five players who have caught the eye most over the weekend.
You could call this one a defender special, but anyway, here are the Palace Power Rankings following the opening weekend…
5 – Wilfried Zaha
After a whirlwind summer of hoping for a big move elsewhere, Zaha will be supplying his trade for Palace once again this season and he seems intent on keeping his head down now and providing the team with much-needed quality.
He may have started on the bench at the weekend, but he looked sharp after coming on for the final 25 minutes and will no doubt be in contention to start against Sheffield United.
4 – James McArthur
McArthur partnered the captain Luka Milivojevic in the centre of the park and arguably looked the brighter of the two. It was a clear statement to Roy Hodgson, who sat in front of his two new midfield signings Victor Camarasa and James McCarthy in the dugout.
3 – Joel Ward
There would have been plenty of pressure to fill the hole left by Wan-Bissaka, but Ward dealt with it terrifically and looked solid throughout the game. He’ll certainly be in line to start at Bramall Lane, where he will be hoping to build on his momentum.
2 – Martin Kelly
This game almost seemed like an audition for both Kelly and Scott Dann – two players who probably wouldn’t be in the squad is Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins were fit. Kelly looked the stronger of the two centre-backs and now should be first-choice to partner Gary Cahill, once the new signing is available.
1 – Patrick van Aanholt
It wasn’t just his goal-line clearance that impressed this weekend, but without Wan-Bissaka and Zaha it seems like Van Aanholt is the star of this Palace team. He provides so much threat going forward and is always solid in defence, so he’s a definite starter next weekend.
Let’s see if he can retain his place at the top!