Let me start by warning you that this will probably not reflect the Crystal Palace XI that they take into the season. Pulis has confirmed that their transfer window is nowhere near done, and with gaping holes at LB and CM, I tend to agree that he needs to get off his arse and sign some players.
Ok. Where to start with this messy XI. The formation I’ve chosen is the 4-5-1 that they ran with for most of last year, but I would not be surprised at all to see that changed to a 4-4-2 to accommodate the incoming signing of Frazier Campbell. More to follow…
One thing that is blatantly obvious with Crystal Palace is that they will be bloody defensive this entire campaign. The good news? This means their defensive options becomes arguably their most valuable.
Julian SPEROOOOOOONI (say it like that, it’s funner I promise), is fairly priced at £5.0, given what Pulis did to Begovic at Stoke I’m willing to bet that he becomes a handy rotation player for our FPL sides.
At Left back, there is literally nobody. If you’re left footed and have kicked a football before, seriously head down to Selhurst Park and put your hand up for selection. The bloke that’s started there most of the pre-season is a Crystal Palace academy player who’s 18 and not even in the FPL system yet. That gives you a pretty strong indication…
Scott Dann is probably Palace’s best defender, and given that he possesses some attacking ‘zazz’ he’d be my first picked in Pulis’ defence. Joel Ward is a tidy right back, and while his attacking flair is limited at times he will give you consistent starts. At CB, Delaney seems to have Mariappa pipped for starts as indicated by their pre-season affairs.
AVOID AVOID AVOID. Nobody ever picked Stoke midfielders under Pulis and rightly so. They’re just not needed. The game plan states explicility that midfielders are not to score or assist. I think. Don’t quote me on that… but seriously, the defence will just lump the ball forward to the strikers and that’s how Palace will play all year. AVOID THEM ALL!
Puncheon had a good start last year, but that was under a 4-5-1 system. A lot depends on how they shape up- as if one striker is alone at the top of the formation, Jason will work hard to offer plenty as a second striker. He is mercurial, but at 6.0 I’m looking elsewhere.
Well, there’s two options.
The first one, Chamakh, just cannot take a break. The moment he gets transferred from Arsenal and into a striker role where he is scoring goals, he starts going bald. The universe is a cruel cruel mistress.
Personally, I’d be touching neither Chamakh or Campbell til I know what’s happening formation and personnel wise. Dwight Gale seems to have the Adam Le Fondre super sub mould about him, so I’d ignore him too. Glenn Murray is, well, Glenn Murray.
Consider: Speroni, Dann, Ward
Wait & See: Chamakh, Campbell, Puncheon
Avoid: Jedinak, Bolasie, Ledley, Bannan, Midfielders.
Next up, another team with glaring holes to fill on their roster. Everton.
Take it easy folks,