After two wins in a row, Crystal Palace lost last week. And it was a pretty nasty defeat on the road against Tottenham Hotspur. Pochettino’s boys demolished the Eagles with 4-0, inflicting one of their toughest losses in the past few months.
Even though it hurts, this failure isn’t too dangerous. It is still the early part of the season, and there is enough room for improvement. In the next few weeks, the Eagles will have a nice chance to win some points. But there are several aspects of the game which Roy Hodgson needs to take care of first.
The ultimate one is the offence. Palace simply need to start scoring goals. Right now, they are the team with just three goals in five games, which is the lowest figure in the entire English Premier League. It appears that all those talks about Wilfried Zaha’s departure might have affected the fantastic player, who isn’t playing as he should. We don’t know what is his state now, and does he have enough motivation to play after another transfer window in which the club didn’t accept any offers for him. However, there are some suggestions that Zaha might be unhappy. This is where the manager has to step up and solve the issue.
Palace doesn’t have some spectacular ambitions. The plan of the board includes staying in the middle of the standings, at a safe distance from the relegation zone. At the moment, the Eagles are 8th on the relegation list according to the bookies, with the odds at 4/1 to go down, and 1/6 to stay. Four teams with the highest chances for getting relegated are Sheffield Utd with 10/11, Newcastle 6/4 and Aston Villa with 13/8, and Brighton 5/2. There are more offers like these, all you need to do is to sign up for top bookmakers in the UK and find the most suitable one for you.
Unlike the offence, the back line and the midfield aren’t that bad. They are doing most of the job very well, and for now, can’t be criticized as much as colleagues from upfront. As time goes by, they will be even better, especially because it appears that some of the players didn’t reach their competitive rhythm.
Palace will have a chance to improve the position in the standings, over the next two games. Both of them will be played at Selhurst Park, and the opponents are a perfect fit for Hodgson’s crew – Wolves and Norwich City. Taking four points here is imperative, while all six would be excellent.
Wolverhampton is a strong and tough opponent, but not unbeatable. They have international duties, which will help the Eagles for sure. The bookies predict a very tight match, and they already offered the odds for this one. Palace’s win is paid 15/8, while Wolves’ success is at 29/16. A draw sits at 41/18. Bookmakers also believe that this match isn’t going to see too many goals here. Odds for over 2.5 hits are at 11/8, and for under 4/7.
Against Norwich City, Palace is the favourite, 21/20, and they should take all three points. It is vital for the Milivojevic and boys beat the Canaries because they present one of the potential relation rivals. It basically means that this match isn’t worth three but six points.