Although the Premier League season is very much in its infancy, there are a few clubs who are already off to a great start with 100% records. Having been keen to see the end of the 2019/20 season, Roy Hodgson will be extremely pleased with how his Crystal Palace team have started the new campaign.
Palace were struggling to field a strong line up by the end of last season with a raft of injuries to key players and they eventually finished in 14th place after four straight losses. Their lack of goals, just thirty-one in thirty-eight games, contributed to a struggle to get out of the bottom half of the table and left them eventually unable to do so.
Hodgson has moved to try and ensure that his side don’t struggle as much in front of goal this time around with Michy Batshuayi arriving on loan from Chelsea for the second time and Eberechi Eze a permanent arrival from QPR.
With four goals already scored in the first two games and three of those coming in a terrific performance at Old Trafford over the weekend has propelled Palace into the early season shake up but can they sustain their bright form?
Although Manchester United looked off the pace, that’s to take nothing away from Palace who attacked at will with both wingers Andros Townsend and Wilfred Zaha on the scoresheet and providing a torrid afternoon for both Luke Shaw and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
That extra sharpness gave the visitors the edge to take home the three points, Hodgson will be mindful that there is a long way to go in what could be an interrupted season, but one where current games come thick and fast.
Whilst it is rumoured that Zaha is once again on his way out of South London, he was unplayable at times, the direct running of both himself and Townsend was the key to Palace’s win just as it was in the opening day defeat of Southampton. Hodgson knows that keeping players fit as well as Zaha in a Palace shirt is the key to a more successful season, confidence will be there that Zaha will remain at Selhurst Park by the end of the transfer window next month.
A stern test however is on the horizon this coming weekend as Carlo Ancelotti’s unbeaten and so far impressive Everton head to Selhurst Park. Based on the four games played so far by these two clubs this fixture should be full of goals with attacking talent at both ends of the pitch whilst a trip to Chelsea on what should be the return of fans to Premier League grounds in October may unnerve the visiting team as it’s been a long few months with empty stadiums.
At 73 years old Hodgson shows no signs of impending retirement and will get a great deal of satisfaction from those two opening wins, he will be hoping his side can produce the same attacking intent week on week to take away any worry of being near the relegation zone, European places might be a step too far this time around but there’s no reason why this season can be a springboard to success.
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