Imagine a world where Crystal Palace get good results at home. It hasn’t existed for a while and their fans must be among the most frustrated in the country. Palace have only had one top ten finish since returning to the Premier League in the 2013/14 season. Any dreams they have of achieving that in 2019/20 may lie in how the summer transfer window progresses.

2018/19 Season

Crystal Palace finished 12th in the Premier League with 49 points. That left them 17 points behind the top six but a comfortable 15 above the relegation zone. Palace actually earned more points on their league travels than at Selhurst Park (29 compared to 20). Again, they made a slow start to the season leaving them playing catch-up on the top ten. The odds available on Palace finishing the 2019/20 season in the top ten are 5/2 (3.5) at SkyBet.

Transfer Activity

It’s not a case of who Palace are signing but who is leaving Selhurst Park. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has already left f and there’s no sign of a replacement defender or anyone else being signed. Even worse could be on the way if Wilfried Zaha leaves the club. Arsenal are chasing him but offering a lot less than Palace want. Christian Benteke is also likely to leave with Fenerbahce his most likely destination.

Any signings? Well they did get Stephen Henderson, a 31-year-old goalkeeper signed on a free transfer from Nottingham Forest. He’s only played 16 league games in the past three seasons and never played in the Premier League. Palace fans must be delighted! There is interest in Everton’s James McCarthy but they seriously need to do some work in the next couple of weeks.

Problem Areas

Home form is the big problem here, though there are a few to be honest. It took Palace until October to score a home league goal last season. Overall, they earned just 20 home points making it only 46 in the last two seasons. Their poor fans have only seen 12 home wins in the last two seasons. 13 out of 19 home league matches had under 2.5 goals scored in them, the highest total in the Premier League.

If Palace are going to make any improvement this season, it has to be in their home form. Palace won nine away league games last season earning 29 points. Can they earn as many this season? If not, then improving their home form has to happen.

Each of the past five seasons has seen Crystal Palace concede over 50 league goals. With Aaron Wan-Bissaka having departed for Old Trafford, Palace need even more to find a replacement. The money is there, it needs to be spent.

Palace have made slow starts in each of the last two seasons. They did a bit better last season but only thanks to some good away performances. Roy Hodgson’s side finished 12th but a form guide for the last 25 games had them eight. Somehow, Palace need to come out of the traps a bit quicker this season. There are odds of 1/7 (1.14) on Palace staying up this season.

Early Season Fixtures

10 August: Everton (home)

18 August: Sheffield United (away)

24 August: Manchester United (away)

31 August: Aston Villa (home)

14 September: Tottenham (away)

Not the easiest of fixture lists unless that great away form continues. You can get odds of 15/8 (2.87) on them winning their opening fixture against Everton. They really need to get their season off to a good start because their October/November fixture list is frightening. Palace have to take on Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester City, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Just how many points might they expect to get from those five games? With their last three home league games being against Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham, being safe by mid-April might be needed. The odds on Palace being relegated this season are 11/2 (6.5) if your bet is placed with William Hill.

Prediction

Palace need to do a lot of positive work in the transfer market over the next couple of weeks. They can’t afford to lose Wilfried Zaha and need to start spending some of the money they received for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Home form has to be improved and a better start to the season made.

If that doesn’ happen, then manager Roy Hodgson could come under pressure. He’s 8/1 (9.0) at Paddy Power to be the next Premier League manager to leave his job. This coud well be another season when they spend a fair bit of time in the lower regions of the table. A relegation battle can’t be ruled out but a lot depends on their transfer dealings.

Published by Steve Ashfield

Steve is a self-employed freelance writer with years of experience writing about everything from sport to politics. He loves his statistics and quotes them at every opportunity.

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