Sunday, October 2, 2022

Crystal Palace Gets A New Boss: How Will Hodgson’s Eagles Lineup Vs A Rusty Southampton?

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Anirban Sarkar
Anirban Sarkar is a former columnist of The 4th Official. A huge East Bengal fan and has travelled over 1000 miles to see his team in action.

Roy Hodgson has been appointed to steer Crystal Palace through the ups and downs of this season. Frank de Boer got the sack after he failed to turn the tide and the former England manager has been recalled in this crisis situation. A Palace Academy graduate, Hodgson will have his first test in the Premier League against a rusty Southampton this weekend.

However, it remains to be seen how the 70-year-old changes his tactics to cope up with the pace and vulnerabilities of the modern day football. He will already have chalked plans out for the Eagles and here is how he might line his team up for the game this weekend.

Defence

Wayne Hennessey hasn’t been at his best as he looked pretty ordinary on the Crystal Palace goal. The Wales international hasn’t done justice to his name but given the lack of competition in the goal keeping department, he should start under the new manager. The departure of Steve Mandanda further eased the way for him.

Hodgson will have a lot of options in the defensive department but given his style, we could see a usual four man defence in the upcoming matches. James Tomkins and Scott Dann will have the responsibility to safeguard the Palace backline while Mamadou Sakho will not be too far away from the first team. Former manager Frank de Boer experimented with a more attacking three man defence but the lack of a quality defender exposed his setup very badly.

Patrick Van Aanholt will have the task to keep the left side of defence mobile. The 27-year-old is one of the experienced left backs in the Premier League and we could see more of him under the former England manager.

Joel Ward has been the Mr dependable for the Eagles and is expected to start at the right side of the defence.

Midfield

Luka Milivojevic was a sensation in the Palace midfield last season and is set to be reinstated. James McArthur should be his partner in the midfield. The Scotland international has been a bit inconsistent but given his quality both on and off the ball he should get the nod.

Attack

Jason Puncheon should play the role of the playmaker from the number 10 position and his expertise in this department could bring a whole lot of things to the game. However, he will face tough competition from the likes of Yohan Cabaye.

The injury of Wilfried Zaha will pave the way for Jason Puncheon who will be stationed on the left side of the flank in which case Cabaye will play as a part of the midfield. Andros Townsend should start from the right flank. Zaha, however, will remain the first choice.

Christian Benteke will be spearheading the Palace attack.

Here is how Hodgson’s team might look like:

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