A look at Crystal Palace`s squad suggests they`re too good to go down – however, they`ve found themselves in a relegation battle they looked bound to lose after their first few games.
After such a poor start, can Palace bounce back and secure their place in the top flight for next season? Let`s assess their chances?
Signs Palace might go down
Frank De Boer became Palace manager before the start of the season. At the time, Eagles` fans were looking forward to the prospect of Dutch “total football” being played at Selhurst Park.
But Palace suffered a dreadful start, losing all of their first four matches and scoring no goals. De Boer was sacked after just five games in charge.
After the Dutchman criticised Mourinho in his role as a TV pundit, Mourinho spat back his belief that De Boer is “the worst manager in Premier League history.
And the legacy of those first few games could still be their undoing.
Benteke out of form
Christian Benteke scored 15 goals in 2016/17 and was a major factor in steering the south London club away from the drop.
Fast forward to this season and the Belgian has scored just two Premier League goals. In fact, the forward`s last goal was against West Ham at the Olympic Stadium in late January.
If you want to survive in the Premier League, you need goals – and it`s a major blow for Palace that he`s been so out of form.
Reasons Palace will stay up
Squad too good
From Benteke, to Wilfried Zaha – it`s clear Palace have quality running through the squad. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has also been outstanding at times this season, while Luka Milivojevic has proven an unlikely goal hero from the penalty spot.
Wilfried Zaha has returned from injury
Damien Delaney had stated his belief that Crystal Palace will have a much greater chance of surviving if Wilfried Zaha returns to fitness soon. As luck would have it, Zaha returned soon after and the Eagles` chances of survival remain intact.
At the age of 70, former England manager Roy Hodgson has his critics. Yet he has a reputation for pulling teams away from the relegation zone (he did just that for Fulham in 2007/08).
Back in September 2017, the 70-year-old inherited a team with no points and no goals – and they were cemented firmly at the foot of the table. At the time of writing, Palace have 30 points with 8 games remaining and 24 points to play for.
Already out of the relegation zone
Crystal Palace beat Huddersfield 2-0 in a professional and confident display away from home. The Eagles are now out of the bottom three.
On average, the number of points required to guarantee top flight survival in the previous 22 seasons is 36.6. So while their place in the Premier League for 2018/19 isn`t a done deal, the stats suggest they need to win just two games and draw one to survive.
In their last eight games, they have a chance of beating every opponent left on their fixture list (with the possible exception of Liverpool). For this reason, it`s safe to assume that Palace WILL survive.