Premier League 2021-22 preview No 7: Crystal Palace | Crystal Palace

Guardian writers’ predicted place: seventeenth (NB: this isn’t essentially Ed Aarons’ prediction however the common of our writers’ ideas)Last season’s place: 14thOdds to win the league (by way of Oddschecker): 750-1The PlanAfter a summer time of seismic change, Crystal Palace supporters are bracing themselves. Patrick Vieira has been entrusted with remodeling an ageing and pragmatic facet used to comfortably avoiding relegation underneath his predecessor, Roy Hodgson, right into a vibrant attacking power that gives younger gamers with the platform to shine.Sounds like a recipe for catastrophe? Given what occurred the final time the membership tried to rebrand underneath Frank de Boer, Palace followers could possibly be forgiven for fearing the worst. But whereas the stress will probably be on the previous Arsenal midfielder to show he’s able to main his crew to security, various encouraging arrivals have created an environment of cautious optimism.A raft of gamers together with Patrick van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho and Andros Townsend have departed with Hodgson after their contracts expired as Palace embark on their greatest rebuild since being promoted by way of the play-offs in 2013. It is hoped that the acquisition of Marc Guéhi from Chelsea and Joachim Andersen, who excelled final season on mortgage at Fulham, for an preliminary £15m from Lyon may present a stable platform in central defence for Vieira to construct from. Palace’s defence was surprisingly porous final season, conceding 66 objectives – probably the most since they returned to the highest flight eight years in the past – so discovering the correct mixture in entrance of the underrated goalkeeper Vicente Guaita will probably be essential.In midfield – an space of the pitch Vieira understands higher than most – the supervisor should make use of James McArthur’s expertise and flexibility in what could possibly be the dependable Scotsman’s final season on the membership and attempt to get the most effective out of the captain, Luka Milivojevic, after some underwhelming performances in current instances. But the actual problem will probably be to discover a hyperlink with the attackers that usually eluded Palace underneath the inflexible strategy favoured by Hodgson, with the signings of Conor Gallagher on mortgage from Chelsea and Michael Olise from Reading a transparent try to handle that.Conor Gallagher, a mortgage signing from Chelsea, in pleasant motion in opposition to Reading. Photograph: Stephen Flynn/ProSports/REX/ShutterstockGallagher was meant to maneuver to Selhurst Park final summer time till Palace opted to take Michy Batshuayi on mortgage as a substitute and the England Under-21s midfielder ought to assist plug the big hole created by Eberechi Eze’s long-term absence. Eze, who was notified of his call-up for England’s provisional Euro 2020 squad on the day he suffered a freak achilles damage throughout coaching, will not be anticipated to return for a while and will probably be sorely missed. But Olise, who qualifies for England, Nigeria and France, will probably be anticipated to make an immediate influence having being named final season’s Championship younger participant of the 12 months.The activity for Vieira will probably be to mould the arrivals and remaining squad members who’ve served Palace so properly in current seasons right into a coherent outfit in a brief house of time. As regular, the type of Wilfried Zaha will probably be very important in assault, and a rejuvenated Christian Benteke could possibly be an actual asset if he continues the shape that earned him a contract extension.Whether Vieira can fulfil one other a part of his remit to deliver by academy gamers will rely upon how rapidly David Omilabu, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and Malachi Boateng can progress underneath the watchful eye of a brand new growth coach, Saïd Aïgoun. Yet if Vieira can keep away from what occurred to De Boer by successful a minimum of one in all his first 4 matches as a Premier League supervisor and discover the correct mix between youth and expertise because the marketing campaign progresses, there could also be nothing to concern.The supervisorVieira has some extent to show to those that have written him off as a supervisor after his sacking by Nice on the finish of final 12 months and he faces a troublesome rebuilding job at Palace after the safety of the Hodgson years. The 45-year-old was missed for Lucien Favre earlier than the previous Borussia Dortmund supervisor’s late change of coronary heart noticed Palace flip to the person whose teaching profession started at Manchester City’s academy in 2011. Vieira has appointed Kristian Wilson, whom he labored with at City, New York and Nice, as first-team coach and far is predicted of the event coach, Aïgoun. Given Vieira’s standing as one in all Arsenal’s best gamers, there could also be a number of supporters in north London hoping he could make successful of it as properly.Key participantWith Eze anticipated to be out till the brand new 12 months after his thrilling breakthrough marketing campaign, as soon as once more Palace’s fortunes are prone to revolve round Wilfried Zaha. The Ivory Coast ahead turns 29 in November and has entered the ultimate two years of his contract, though his want to maneuver appears no nearer to fruition. Despite his career-best 11 Premier League objectives final season, Palace additionally lastly proved they will win with out their talisman.OwnersSteve Parish was closely criticised by a bit of supporters for what they perceived as a scarcity of ambition final season however Palace’s co-chairman seems decided to develop a extra sustainable mannequin for the membership after an unprecedented eight seasons within the Premier League. The give attention to signing rising skills akin to Guéhi and bringing by native gamers by way of the academy has been properly acquired by followers thus far, though the primary indicators of battle underneath Vieira would in all probability begin the jitters.Euros issueChristian Benteke – who signed a contract extension simply earlier than the match – performed six minutes in its place in Belgium’s group stage win over Finland however wasn’t seen once more. After 4 and a half years at Palace, Patrick van Aanholt has moved on however the left-back was an ever-present for the Netherlands till their shock elimination by the Czech Republic within the final 16.We’ll be singingOf all of the grounds within the Premier League, the dearth of followers was significantly noticeable at Selhurst Park throughout lockdown. An growth of the part behind the purpose that homes the Holmesdale Fanatics is deliberate, that means visiting groups ought to anticipate an much more intimidating environment once they head south of the river.Crystal Palace followers throughout Arsenal’s go to to Selhurst Park in May. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The GuardianAgain to Selhurst ParkThe good With three mainline stations inside strolling distance, it is likely one of the league’s most accessible stadiums, however that doesn’t cease visiting supporters complaining.The unhealthy Big plans to enhance the principle stand have but to progress and Selhurst Park stays in want of a facelift.The crestThe present design was adopted in 2013 and includes a big eagle – the membership’s nickname that was adopted within the Seventies underneath supervisor Malcolm Allison – swooping down over the well-known towers of the Crystal Palace exhibition constructing. For the primary time, the third package this season can even function the emblem CPFC 1861 – a nod to the primary Crystal Palace soccer membership that claims to be the oldest on this planet.Trending subjects#vieiraout (if the brand new supervisor fails to hit the bottom working)#sacktheboard (see above)#bringbackroy (the earlier supervisor indicated he wasn’t completed with soccer so if issues go incorrect followers might yearn for his return)MascotThe loss of life of much-loved mascot Kayla the eagle final 12 months was greeted with an outpouring of emotion from followers. Many made donations to her former house on the Eagle Heights sanctuary close to Dartford which have helped it to outlive the pandemic.

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