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Crystal Palace Season Preview, Odds and Predictions 2019-20.

They had not started their 2018-19 campaign all that well, in fact, it was almost a disaster. They seemed like they might be relegated but managed to escape that by the skin of their teeth. But that should not be how they are judged, because, in sports you often get the fag end of the stick, even though your are doing your best and that was their story last season. They created a lot chances, but did not manage to turn their close shaves into wins and even when they lost, they lost mostly by a one goal margin. And that probably gave the manager, Roy Hodgson the opportunity to continue at his post. The club improved dramatically from December on and was a formidable opponent in the second part of the season. I think that the sensational win against Manchester City at the Etihad boosted the confidence of Crystal Palace, and the team never looked back. After all, beating Pep Guardiola and his boys at their own stadium is something very few clubs in the world have done in the past couple of years. Palace went on a run after that game and finished 12th at the end of the season. Considering the start, that’s nothing short of sensational.

The early struggles of the side were related to the fact that no one seemed to find the net but Wilfried Zaha. The winger was the only Palace player that kept his composure, while the rest of the team was wasteful. Once a couple of other squad members started contributing, the results quickly changed. The likes of Andros Townsend, Luka Milivojevic, Jeffrey Schlupp, and the January loan signing Michy Batshuayi provided enough support up front. The defense was decent for a club of this caliber for most of the season, so the strong second part of the season made sense. I think Hodgson has to take credit for that, as he was able to install enough discipline at the back. The manager also made the important decision to replace Wayne Hennessey with Vicente Guaita in December. The Spanish goalkeeper repaid the manager’s trust with a string of consistent performances. The overall improvement of Crystal Palace helped the side perform well in the other English tournaments. The club reached the last eight of the FA Cup but was knocked out after a tough encounter against Watford.

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