Staying in England’s top football league will prove to be an unusually challenging task this season. Over half of the Premier League’s 20 clubs find themselves either in the relegation zone or just above the drop zone.
Avoiding the drop this year could be decided by the narrowest of margins. With three wins in their last four fixtures Crystal Palace find themselves right in the thick of the league wide battle against relegation. Heading into their away clash with Everton on Wednesday night, the Eagles sit with 26 points and 14th in the table.
Crystal Palace can draw comfort from their recent form however. Since the beginning of the year the London club has earned 10 points from a possible 18 and have won three straight at home. Much of the positive feedback has been heaped upon new manager Tony Pulis. Metro writer Matt Broad went so far as declaring Pulis a wizard.
Since taking over at Selhurst Park the former Stoke manager has shown shrewdness in the transfer market by completing the loan signing of Blackpool midfielder Tom Ince whom was a goal scorer and provider on his first match for his new club. More importantly Pulis has Crystal Palace on pace to secure the magical 40 points thought to be necessary to survive relegation.
However Pulis’ men face tough tests against Everton, Manchester United and Chelsea before a mouth-watering set of fixtures in April against Cardiff, Aston Villa and West Ham United. All three clubs are within five points of each other in the table, making each fixture worth the proverbial ‘six points’. Meaning Pulis and his team are definitely looking at this set of fixtures with their eyes on three points from each.
With their recent form this shouldn’t come as a surprise to many. Crystal Palace are playing with both consistency and belief. Two factors that have completely changed the outlook of their season. Relegation seems out of the questions. Rather a mid-table finish seems more and more likely.
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