Five reasons why unwanted history makers Crystal Palace will stay in the Premier League

Crystal Palace’s start to the season has been historically bad, becoming the first team ever team to lose all of their opening six games without scoring a goal.

Already four points from safety and on to their second manager of the season, can Roy Hodgson’s side avoid a seemingly inevitable relegation?

We think so, and here are five reasons why.

Roy’s done it before

When Hodgson took charge at Fulham in December 2007, the Cottagers were on a seven-match winless streak of their own, two points adrift in 18th.

Despite only one win in his first nine games, Hodgson kept Fulham up with four wins from their final five.

Hodgson’s time at West Bromwich Albion, which landed him the England job, took them from 17th in February 2011 to 11th by the end of the campaign, going one better the season after.

Other teams have managed it

Palace’s goalless streak beat the Premier League record previously held by Newcastle, who started the 2005-06 season by going four games and 78 minutes before finding the net.

The Magpies, having lost three and drawn one of those four games, ending up finishing seventh, winning 10 of their final 15 games.

Juande Ramos took two points from Spurs’ first eight games in 2008-09 before being replaced by Harry Redknapp, who guided them to eighth.

It’s still early 

The Eagles’ failures have been exacerbated by an unforgiving schedule. They’ve just been thrashed by Manchester City and face Manchester United this weekend and Chelsea after the international break.

After that, the fixture list produces more winnable games, with a trip to Newcastle followed by West Ham at Selhurst Park.

Zaha’s return

Palace’s lack of goals is in no small part due to the absence of star winger Wilfried Zaha, who has been out since the opening day with a knee injury.

Zaha, 24, led Palace’s charge to safety last season with nine assists and seven goals, second in the team behind only Christian Benteke’s 17.

The Ivorian posted a video on Twitter of himself in training this week, aiming to be back for the visit of Chelsea on October 14.

The new Ballack

One Palace player who has come away with praise this season is midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, on loan from Chelsea.

The 21-year-old’s passing style and ability to dictate play has been compared to ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack by Glenn Hoddle.

His manager will hope that the chance of beating the likes of Jake Livermore and Fabian Delph to a World Cup place will motivate Loftus-Cheek to maintain his form.

Although injury means he won’t face United tomorrow and he will ineligible for the game against his parent club following that.


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