Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace

There is only a month to wait ‘til the start of the Premier League. Over the next few weeks @0riginalfooty will preview the new season, take a look at each team and offer our predictions as to where each side will finish. Here we take a look at Crystal Palace.

Palace were promoted to the Premier League at the beginning of last season and most people thought they were doomed before they’d even kicked a ball. Ian Holloway, the man who won them promotion, left the club in October having decided he wasn’t up to the task of keeping them afloat. The Eagles took their time over naming his successor and at the end of November decided that Tony Pulis was the man to tackle the improbable task of survival. Pulis had never been relegated in his managerial and wasn’t about to start now as he guided Crystal Palace to an 11th place finish. Many called this a minor miracle and some even went as far as to claim that they should rename the club “Crystal Pulis”. Pulis will be keen to preserve his immaculate CV and establish Palace as a Premier League club.

The Manager
As mentioned above, many at Selhurst Park see Tony Pulis as a miracle worker. In fact, he is just a very experienced and tactically orientated manager who makes sure his sides are extremely well drilled. He turned Stoke into a mid-table Premier League club and his brief will undoubtedly be to do the same at Palace. He worked wonders last season but has he now got a plan to keep Palace at this level for the foreseeable future?

Tony Pulis has never been relegated as a manager

Tony Pulis has never been relegated as a manager

Biggest Signing
Crystal Palace’s only signing of the summer thus far is young goalkeeper Chris Kettings. With Julian Speroni and Wayne Hennessey both ahead of him in the pecking order, it’s unlikely he will make much of a splash this season. Bigger news for Palace was tying Marouane Chamakh down on a new two-year deal.

Marouane Chamakh has signed a new two-year deal

Marouane Chamakh has signed a new two-year deal

Who is tipped to join them?
The media haven’t really caused much of a frenzy concerning Crystal Palace’s transfer activity but if reports are to be believed they are in the market for a new striker. Cedric Bakambu had been linked and they have reportedly agreed a deal to sign Cardiff striker Fraizer Campbell. Palace are also believed to have agreed a deal for Tottenham’s Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is out of favour at White Hart Lane, and they are keen to add Jack Cork to their midfield as well.

Gylfi Sigurdsson would be an excellent signing for Crystal Palace

Gylfi Sigurdsson would be an excellent signing for Crystal Palace

Who should they sign?
Pulis seems to be predominantly focusing on adding a new striker to his ranks but I think he will also chase at least one more defender to add some quality to his backline. Steven Caulker would be a good option for Pulis to explore as Cardiff have just been relegated so he should be available at a cut-price fee. They face stiff competition from QPR to land him. If that fails then Brede Hangeland would be another option available on the cheap due to Fulham’s relegation.

Steven Caulker could be on Tony Pulis' radar

Steven Caulker could be on Tony Pulis’ radar

Key Player
Mile Jedinak. The Australian epitomises the work ethic that Pulis desires of his players and is a strong character in the middle of the park. Jedinak won player of the year for Palace the season before last and their captain is an extremely important figure in the side.

Jedinak will be of great importance at the heart of the Palace midfield

Jedinak will be of great importance at the heart of the Palace midfield

Prediction
Pulis has once again demonstrated his ability to keep a side in the league and I can see no reason why he can’t do it again with Palace. He will have had a full preseason with them so they will be better prepared and he should add some recruits to put his own stamp on the team. Palace fans will be optimistic for the upcoming season and we think they will match their achievements last season. Expect Palace to finish 11th.

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