Crystal Palace’s horrible run of form does not look like improving anytime soon as a chastening defeat to Sunderland saw Sam Allardyce plunge into the myriad depths of an impending relegation dogfight. The Eagles had won just 6 matches over the entirety of last year and it was expected that Alan Pardew’s removal would spark a turn-around in their fortunes. But it was not to be as Sam Allardyce has notched up a solitary win the league since his appointment and the football has turned from bad to worse gradually. There has to be a quick turnaround if they are harbouring any hopes of finishing in a respectable mid-table position come the end of the season.
In their last 9 matches, they have lost 7, drawing 1 and losing 1. It is a worrying sign and is relegation fodder for teams especially during this time in the season. Allardyce has made a number of signings and while most of them have been defensive, he will look to utilise them to strike a balance to the squad.
He will have all his new signings available by next week and will be hoping that the injection of fresh legs will have some kind of positive effect on their fortunes.
PREDICTED CRYSTAL PALACE XI WITH THEIR NEW SIGNINGS (4-2-3-1)
Wayne Hennessey is likely to continue in goal with Mandanda out injured. The keeper has to put his hands up and start making saves now. They have been beaten too easily and it is high time they buck up. Ward is likely to continue at right-back in a 4-man at the back approach. Dann is a certainty and will be partnered by new signing Mamadou Sakho, who will come in immediately after he goes through his fitness programme. Tomkins is expected to miss out and will have to settle for a place on the bench. Jeffrey Schlupp will be hopeful of a berth after he was signed for a hefty amount.
In the double pivot, Allardyce might take a punt and play both Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milivojevic. The latter will hope to get cleared soon and will be itching to get on the field and help out his beleaguered teammates. Cabaye has been underwhelming and has to improve considerably to keep his place intact. In the No.10 position, Puncheon is expected to play and like the rest of them has to get better.
Zaha is a certainty on the wings, which will most likely be on the right-wing. In a balancing move, he might opt for Van Aanholt in an advanced role on the left flank, given the player’s propensity to bomb forward and thrive with fewer restrictions on. Benteke will be the lone striker up front.