Vital Palace Blogs

Make or Break period for Palace


With our most difficult run of games in the season out of the way, having played all of the Premier League’s top four and Arsenal, the outcome of the next run of fixtures will shape the remainder of our season.

One point from our last five games isn’t a great return and we certainly deserved more from the Liverpool game, but with the tough run over and Burnley up next, Hodgson will feel more optimistic about picking up vitally important points in the coming weeks.

As the cliche goes, there are no easy games in the Premier League, but our next eight fixtures are against teams in a similar position to us in the league and the current bottom three.

It is easy to get ahead of ourselves looking at these fixtures and it’s always difficult as a Palace fan to be fully confident about any match. But judging on how we’ve performed so far this season, I don’t see any reason why we can’t win most of these games.

Hodgson is often given a hard time for his negativity and his beloved 433 cum 451 may not be groundbreaking or awe-inspiring but it’s a setup that utilises the players we currently have and gives us a chance of getting something out of every game. We have seen it work against Man United, Villa, Norwich and West Ham this season so there is no reason why Hodgson should ditch this approach.

Zaha showed glimpses of his best form on Saturday, taking players on, going inside and outside of defenders, forcing players to double up on him and scored a well-taken goal. He has been fairly anonymous of late, but it was encouraging to see signs of his desire and drive going forward, giving Trent Alexander-Arnold a tough time was a bonus.

Andros Townsend also played well against Liverpool after a stuttering start to the season, his work rate was particularly impressive and he threatened with some impressive crosses and provided the assist for Zaha whilst under pressure.

Our reliable defensive set up also gave little away against Liverpool and Hodgson will be frustrated with the goals we conceded, especially the late second. However, Gary Cahill is looking like a superb acquisition and we can rest easy with our strength in depth at the back as Kelly could easily come in to replace Joel Ward, who could miss our next match.

Burnley are up next and this will be a tough test to overcome. Sean Dyche’s side have won their last two games 3-0 and are now 7th. But our performance against Liverpool should give us all confidence about going to Turf Moor and getting all three points to celebrate the end of our difficult period.

The fixtures are favourable until we play Arsenal at home on 11th January next year. There is so much to play for in this run of fixtures and even a few good results will give us some breathing space from the relegation zone heading into the second half of the season and could give us the foundation to push on with.

Nestled in the middle of the upcoming fixtures is the home match against Brighton and after last year’s double disappointment against Brighton, everyone will be desperate to see a hugely improved performance here.

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