Sports FOOTBALL Crystal Palace preview Can the Eagles close to the...

Crystal Palace preview Can the Eagles close to the trophies?

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The predicted position of the Guardian authors 11th (Note: this is not necessarily Ed Aaron’s prediction, but an average of our authors’ advice)

Position last season 12th

Odds of winning the league (via Oddschecker) 500-1

perspectives

The end of this season will mark a decade since Palace’s promotion to the play-offs under Ian Holloway, the most sustained period of success in the club’s history. There is now genuine optimism that Patrick Vieira can take perennial mid-table finishers into uncharted territory after a promising first campaign at the helm with an exciting young squad.

Remarkably, it took the Frenchman just a few weeks to transform Palace from a stubborn defensive side that beat opposition at half-time under Roy Hodgson to one that plays exciting football based on possession and doesn’t rely solely on an old talisman. Wilfrid Zaha. He and captain Joel Ward are the only remaining players from Holloway’s squad to win promotion in 2013, and the 29-year-old Ivory Coast forward contributed his best ever Premier League record with 14 goals last season.

Ready for Premier League 2022-23: Crystal Palace – video

Keeping Zaha’s services with less than 12 months left on his contract will of course be a priority for Vieira and chairman Steve Parish, although there are other areas of concern such as filling Conor Gallagher’s form hole in midfield. Chelsea’s tenant was the heart of the Palace side last season and while they acted decisively to sign Lance’s Mali international Cheik Doukouré as a retainer, concerns about 34-year-old James MacArthur’s fitness mean it’s necessary more cover. .

Along with a growing partnership between Mark Gahey and Joachim Andersen, the arrival of Bayern Munich’s U.S. defender Chris Richards and England goalkeeper Sam Johnston to challenge Vicente Guaite and Jack Butland should at least give Palace defensive solidity. they need to stay. well out of trouble. After that, a repeat of last year’s FA Cup run or a top 10 finish – only third in the club’s history – could very well be within their reach.

Manager

Many questioned the reputation of the former Arsenal midfielder when he was selected as Hodgson’s successor last summer. However, the change in Palace’s approach to the same group of players has shown that Vieira certainly manages to deliver his message effectively. He learned from the loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final when he decided to switch formations in the absence of Gallagher and paid the price with a 2-0 defeat. But if anyone doubted Vieira’s newfound attachment to south London, his disappointed reaction to Arsenal’s last gasp equalizer during a swing match at the Emirates in October was proof enough that he was now bleeding.

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira signs autographs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in July during the club’s pre-season tour of Southeast Asia and Australia. Photograph: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

transfer coup

To release a statement in July saying that he was the victim of blackmail and “an attempt to extort funds from several individuals acting in concert” was not exactly how Ducourt had hoped to start his career at the palace. The 22-year-old Mali midfielder denied allegations that he had a “double personality” and vowed to take legal action. Ducouré was born in Bamako and made a name for himself in France with Lance.

Impact of the World Cup

With only a handful of players, including Denmark’s Andersen and Ghana’s Jordan Ayew, likely to take part in the World Cup, the remaining Palace players will have the opportunity to recharge their batteries at home. The gays and Tyreke Mitchell are hoping they can secure a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

Castle

Alternative rides during the World Cup

Croydon’s town center used to be known for its shops, but times have changed and unfortunately the center of Whitgift is no longer the same these days. Instead, try heading down to see the dinosaurs in the Crystal Palace Park – they were unveiled in 1854 as the world’s first dinosaur sculptures.

Hot Selling Shirts

Although Zaha remains the king of SE25, there is a new prince in town. Michael Oliz captured the hearts of Palace fans with his breathtaking FA Cup win over Millwall in January that kicked off an incredible run of form. Had it not been for a foot injury that hampered the France under-21 striker towards the end of the campaign, he could have easily picked up offers from bigger clubs this summer, but is likely to benefit greatly from another year under the tutelage of Vieira and his staff.

Careerist

Zaha’s 1.1 million followers put him in the top spot and hardly a day goes by without an Insta update. Having not traveled with the main line-up for their tour to Singapore and Australia due to him failing to meet entry requirements when the trip was scheduled, Zaha regularly keeps fans in the loop as he trains in south London. Meanwhile, the dapper Olise is also diving into the world of social media with some really cool poses in a variety of hues.

If The Palace Was A Netflix Document…

While the Channel 4 documentary The Academy about players from the club’s youth squad is set to air in August, the sequel to the excellent When Eagles Dare – an Amazon series that chronicles Palace’s journey from bankruptcy to the Premier League – could also be on the cards if they can build on last season’s promise. After losing twice to Manchester United in the FA Cup finals in 1990 and 2016, is Vieira the man to finally lead Palace to glory?

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