After a turbulent 2016-17 season, Crystal Palace have gone into the summer with yet another new manager but a sense of renewed optimism and an appetite for big spending. So what awaits the Eagles in 2017-18? Read our season preview to find out.
Crystal Palace’s rollercoaster 2016-17 season began with two defeats in August, followed by three victories and then a disastrous run of form during which they managed only two wins between October and January. That left them deep in relegation trouble and cost coach Alan Pardew his job. He was replaced by survival specialist Sam Allardyce, but there was no immediate upturn as the club failed to win any of his first five games.
A victory at Bournemouth on the last day of January appeared to lift the team’s confidence, and they went on to win six of their next ten Premier League games, which lifted them clear of relegation danger and helped them to an eventual finish of fourteenth. The ups and downs were not finished, however, as manager Sam Allardyce announced his resignation at the end of the season, and Internazionale manager Frank de Boer was signed as his replacement.
The strong finish to the 2016-17 season and the appointment of Frank de Boer for the coming campaign appears to have reassured bookmakers about Palace’s chances and they are predicting another lower mid-table finish. Palace finished seven points clear of the drop zone last season and are generally considered the seventh favourites for relegation this year, at best price of 11/2 with BetVictor. They are unlikely Premier League winners at 1000/1 with SkyBet, but can be backed at 7/2 with William Hill to finish in the top half.
What do the Punters think?
Punters appear to be taking a cautiously optimistic approach to Palace’s chances. Few seem to think that they are relegation candidates, with fewer than 5% of the money wagered in the relegation market going on Palace, and the south London club account for a healthy 15% of bets in the Top Half Finish market. Punters do appear to have doubts about Frank de Boer’s abilities though and he has been a popular bet in the Next Manager To Leave Their Post market, accounting for 8 percent of all bets in that market.
There have been rumours swirling all summer about the possibility of star winger Wilfried Zaha leaving Selhurst Park, but it now seems likely that he will be staying with the club. If he does stay, he will be a vital player for the coming campaign and if he can build on his efforts in the 2016-17 season looks an interesting outside bet in the Player of the Year market at 100/1 with Paddy Power. New signing Ruben Loftus-Cheek also has the ability to make a big impression and can be backed at 50/1 with BetVictor in the Young Player of the Year market.
Crystal Palace appear to have big ambitions in the transfer market. To date, de Boer has brought in Ruben Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea along with fellow countryman Jairo Riedewald from Ajax for a fee of around £8 million but that is unlikely to be the end of their business. SkyBet make it a 1/2 shot that the Eagles will bring Arsenal’s Calum Chambers to Selhurst Park and the same company rate the Gunners’ Jack Wilshere at 10/1 to cross the Thames before the transfer window closes. Other possible targets include Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho, who is priced up at 6/4 by BetVictor and Robin van Persie who is available at 15/8 with BetVictor to move from Fenerbahce to become a Crystal Palace player.