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Opinion: Hodgson’s Crystal Palace look capable of finishing in the top-10 and it wouldn’t be a surprise

Why Palace seem good enough to challenge for a top-half finish this season

Crystal Palace began their season with a convincing win at Fulham, and then lost a closely-fought battle against Liverpool. Roy Hodgson took over the team last season when they were struggling to even score a goal at the start.

The former England manager has brought identity to this team, which has helped them to play as a group.

The 4-4-2 system is quite old-fashioned but is effective and is physically very tight to thwart opposition attackers. It helps the quick players to play on the counter-attack, as they will have space behind a defence to run and cause havoc. This is why the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Andros Townsend are key for the Eagles in every game they play in.

The full-backs Patrick van Aanholt and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are quick and tenacious defenders who also make forays up the pitch.

Wilfried Zaha

The midfield can stay with the backline to offer no space in between the lines, and release the pacy wide players on the counter when they win possession. Having two players up front massively helps in this respect.

Here’s why Palace have what it takes to challenge for a top-half finish in the Premier League this season:

Squad looks comfortable in the system deployed by the manager

As explained above, Crystal Palace have players who can perfectly fit into the 4-4-2 system deployed by their manager. So, it helps both parties to gel well and efficiently perform the roles expected of each of them.

The win against Fulham was an example of a team not starting well but fighting it out together and eventually getting a win with a clean sheet.

Crystal Palace

Against Liverpool, they stuck together to defend well for most parts of the game, only to lose to certain individual moments. In that game, the quality of Zaha and Townsend was in evidence, and the plan was applied to great effect. The mighty Liverpool front-three were nullified significantly.

Read More: Make or break: This season could decide what the future holds for Crystal Palace’s talismanic attacker


Whenever we see Palace play, there seems to be a plan and an identity in place. It makes up for a good viewing and as football fanatics, we expect certain things from them to deny the opposition.

Premier League is such a tough league for teams who are haphazard in their plan selection. However, for Palace, it might become a good friend. Hence, there is a vast possibility that the Eagles will challenge for a top-half finish this season.