For most people, Crystal Palace’s surge for promotion this season has been somewhat of a surprise. With a fairly modest budget, mid table was probably where they should have ended up, but with the sporadic nature of the Championship. It hasn’t been too surprising.
What has been key for Palace is the effectiveness of their wing play, Yannick Bolasie and Wilfred Zaha have had regular field days on full backs. Both impressing many Premier League clubs, with the latter earning a move to Manchester United. Glen Murray has also been on fine form, the Cumbrian born striker is having his best goal haul with 27 goals this season. Last time out they couldn’t play their game to great effect, beaten by a single goal at Bloomfield Road. The torn up pitch was unforgiving on their style of football. It did seem typical that Ian Holloway would come on unstuck on the ground where it had gone so right for him in previous years.
The promotion dream is slowly slipping away for Crystal Palace, the defeat Blackpool marked their third defeat on the trot. Their worst run of the season, eight goals have been shipped in defeats to Brighton, Birmingham and Blackpool. Ian Holloway has prompted his side to get their act together: “It’s the worst run we’ve had since the start of the season and it’s the wrong time to do it. We’ve just got to dust ourselves off, get up and get on with it.” Currently sitting not far from the automatic promotion places in 4th, it is not too late for Palace to make a final push. Wilfred Zaha’s form has slightly dipped in recent weeks, he’ll have to improve if he wants to stick by his words to the club website back in January: “I have been at Palace for more than 10 years, I will always love the club and I want to help get them back to the Premier League, particularly for the fans who have always been so good to me,”
Palace’s run until the end is fairly kind, there are three winnable home games to Barnsley, Leicester and Peterborough in the midst of the six games. What will be the biggest game is the game at Millwall, their nearest rivals could be the bane of Palace after they snatched a late draw at Selhurst Park earlier in the season. Millwall have been largely in relegation form in the league and goals have largely dried up since the departure of Chris Wood and Darius Henderson. Ian Holloway will keep his fingers crossed that Millwall can beat Wigan in the FA Cup so their attention is focused upon a second cup final in ten years.
It could be last opportunity for Crystal Palace. Wilfred Zaha who has lit up the Championship over the last few years is on his way to Manchester United, while Yannick Bolasie could be on his way to the Premier League in the summer. Glenn Murray may be on top of the ‘strikers to buy’ list for some lower end Premier League clubs, his innate ability to find the net makes him the perfect fit for any who have survival on the forefront of their agenda. Furthermore, their Australian midfielder Mile Jedinak could also be prized away, he has kept the midfield ticking over this season and a player of his controlling nature is ideal for any Premier League side.
Crystal Palace would be an exciting addition to the Premier League, their explosive style has lit up the Championship this season. Playing some of the best football in the football league, their style seems suited to top flight football.