Premier League Countdown: Crystal Palace looking at top half finish
The new Premier League season is inching ever nearer, so it’s time to start thinking about how the upcoming campaign will shake out.
In the build-up to the new season we’re profiling each of the 20 top-flight clubs, from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to Premier League newboys Brighton & Hove Albion.
Our next team in the spotlight is Crystal Palace…
The Eagles endured a topsy-turvy campaign last season, eventually avoiding relegation by seven points.
The appointment of Sam Allardyce in December 2016 proved the key factor in Palace’s survival, but with the one-time England boss now departed from Selhurst Park, the onus will fall on Frank de Boer to guide the Eagles to safety.
Dutchman De Boer is a stellar appointment following a six-year stint with Ajax and a recent spell with Inter Milan.
And he will be joined at the South London club by Jairo Riedewald.
The 20-year-old defender links up from Ajax where he made 23 appearances last season, including in the Europa League final against Manchester United.
Crucially the capital club have also retained the services of Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend.
On their day the trio form one of the most potent attacking forces in the league.
And if a defensive line which shipped 63 goals last season can tighten up under former centre-half De Boer, Palace could be on for a good season.
The only worry could come from the goalkeeping department.
Steve Mandanda has left for Marseille, leaving the error-prone Wayne Hennessey as first choice in SE25.
Crystal Palace – 2017-18
Key arrivals: Jairo Riedewald, Reuben Loftus-Cheek
Key departures: Steve Mandanda, Joe Ledley
Man to watch: Wilfried Zaha
Title odds: 750/1
Best bet: Crystal Palace to finish in the top half @ 3/1
We say: The Eagles have a manager with a world class reputation and a squad of players who are capable of a top half finish. If they can make Selhurst Park a fortress and start to pick up results against the sides lower down the table as well as the Prem big boys, they should be capable of a more positive campaign.
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