The 2016/17 season will mark Crystal Palace’s 4th successive season in the Premier League. Last season was a mixed bag for Palace, they had a great start to the season and were among the top 5 in the league after Christmas. However a disastrous second half of the season saw them losing 12 of their last 18 games and winning just 2 to eventually finish 15th.
The honeymoon period is well and truly over for Alan Pardew and comparisons are being made with his previous tenure at Newcastle. Coming to the new season Pardew this time around has the luxury to spend money in the transfer market. Palace are a club capable of finishing inside the top 10 but whether they’ll be able to do it is another question.
Crystal Palace 2016-17 Season Preview
Despite their poor run during the second half of last season, Palace did make it to the final of the FA Cup only to lose to Manchester United 2-1 in extra-time. Alan Pardew has been trying all summer to add a proven goal scorer to their ranks. From Christian Benteke to Michy Batshuayi they’ve attempted to recruit some top names but are consistently failing at the last hurdle.
One has to say that if it were any other manager at Palace the calls for him to be sacked would have been loud. Pardew though is a club hero fondly remembered for his winning goal in their 1989-90 FA Cup Semifinal tie against Liverpool.
Palace are a team that has never played 5 consecutive seasons in the top flight of English football. Palace do have a squad good enough to challenge most teams in the league and Pardew will need to prove his critics wrong sooner rather than latter.
Palace’s top scorer in their last three seasons, Dwight Gayle has left the club for Newcastle. While injury prone Marouane Chamakh has been released along with Emmanuel Adebayor. The departures have left the club with just two proven strikers – injury prone Connor Wickham and Frazier Campbell. It’s imperative for the club to add another striker before the end of transfer window whether it be Benteke or someone else.
The recent arrival of Andres Townsend further strengthens their midfield which already had the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Yannick Bolasie, Bakry Sakho to name a few. New signing Steve Mandanda should start the season as their No.1 keeper with Julian Speroni and Wayne Hennessey set to be his understudies.
Another big money signing they’ve made this summer is in recruiting James Tomkins from West Ham United. He should pair up well with newly appointed captain Scott Dann at the heart to the defense with Joel Ward and Pape Souare at right and left back respectively.
Crystal Palace 2016-17 Season Prediction
A lot of Palace’s performance this season will depend on whether they’ll be able to add one or two proven strikers to their ranks. After a disappointing end to last season’s campaign it’s crucial for Palace to get off to a good start.
Palace kick off their campaign at home against West Brom after which they’ll face Spurs, Bournemouth, Middlesbrough and Stoke City. Pardew himself wouldn’t have picked a better set of fixtures and they should get off to a good start.
However towards the start of December they’ll lose their steam and finish mid-table with Pardew being let go at somepoint during their slump.
Verdict: – 15th Place
Player to Watch – Crystal Palace 2016-17
A player who has always promised so much but has been held back by injuries. The 25 yr old made the switch to Palace after the club had triggered his release clause at Newcastle only 6 months after joining them. He was impressive during his short stint with Magpies scoring 4 and assisting 2 goals in his 13 appearances for the club.
Townsend who had been in England’s 26 man provisional squad for the European Championships failed to make the final 23. The season will be key for Townsend who needs to stay fit and perform to earn his way back to the England setup.
Betting Tips – Crystal Palace 2016-17
1. Premier League Champions – 1001.00 (Bwin.com)
Forget the league title, the chances of Palace breaking into the top half of the table are slim.
2. Relegation – 5.50 (Skybet)
We are ranking Palace as an outside contender to get relegated. They do have the quality in the squad to register a high finish in the table but whether they’ll be able to perform consistently week after week is the question. The odds are good enough so this is a bet i would be making as of now.
3. To Stay Up – 1.20 (Bet 365)
Palace are heavily backed by the bookies to stay up and as a result the odds are too poor to gamble on.
4. First Manager to Leave Post – Alan Pardew – 9.00 (Skybet)
As of now Tony Pulis is the favorite to be first Premier League manager to be sacked this season. However Pardew who has over 10 years of managerial experience in the league is yet to prove that he can turn mid-table clubs to European challengers. After a poor finish to last season it’s crucial for Pardew to get off to a good start. If he doesn’t it will be end of his tenure at Palace.
Crystal Palace Transfers In – 2016-17
|Sl No||Position||Player||Fee – €||From|
|1||MF||Andros Townsend||15.5 million||Newcastle United|
|2||DF||James Tomkins||12 million||West Ham United|
Crystal Palace – 2015/16 Stats