Here’s the fantasy premier league analysis of the last of the 3 promoted sides Crystal Palace.
Crystal Palace were promoted through the play offs and scored more goals than any other team other than Watford. However, defensively they were nowhere near as strong conceding 62 goals. 11 teams in the division conceded less overall.
At home they had the 3rd best points record and scored more goals than another team. However their defending again let them down and they conceded 31 goals in 23 games. Only 6 teams conceded more at home.
Away from home there were not good. Their points record was only the 15th best out of 24 teams. They scored less than a goal a game away from home and only 2 teams scored less. Defence away from home wasn’t quite as bad but they still conceded 31 goals, the 9th best in the division at home.
So we have a team that is very home orientated, that can score goals but concedes goals as well. So what does Holloway do. He goes out and buys a bundle of attacking players. Striker Dwight Gayle from Peterborough, winger Jerome Thomas from WBA, attacking midfielder/striker Stephen Dobbie of Brighton and Captain of the Spanish U20 midfielder Jose Campana. Then finally adding 40 year old Kevin Phillips. Not a defender in sight. Are we looking at a replication of Holloway’s Blackpool team that neutrals loved, not to mention fantasy premier league managers, as they conceded and scored goals all over the place plus produced one of the best fantasy premier league budget success stories in Charlie Adam. It certainly looks possible. You would have thought that he had learned but he is a football romantic and subborn so he may just stick to his principles.
So what does this mean? A number of new transfers makes it difficult to work out how they will line up. Pre-season with multiple changes have done little to give us clues as to how they will line up. But what we can do at the moment is create our watch list for pre-season, looking for value and form for our fantasy premier league team.
Crystal palce don’t have great fixtures to start so that should give us some extra time to view there players without the need to rush in for a good fixture run but predicting a line up will be imporatnt to identify budget options to give space from day 1 for the ikes of Bale and RVP
Here’s their opening 6 fixtures
Spurs H, Stoke A, Sunderland H, Man Utd A, Swansea H, Southampton A
So lets look at the team in more detail from a fantasy premier league perspective
GK and defence
Lets cut to the chase here. Given the defensive record to date anyone costing more than £4.0m is a waste of time in my view. We are looking for the cheapest defensive option either for rotation home and away or the cheapest possible cost warming our fantasy premier league bench. The fantasy premier league game makers certainly agree with the assessment of Crystal Palace’s defensive strength as there are £4.0m defenders all over the place. The GK by the way is Speroni and at £4.5m there are a number of better options so lets ditch him straight away.
So who is likely to play in defence of those £4.0m defenders and who is the best prospect. The back 4 finished the season in a settled manner. Ward RB, Gabbidon and Delaney CBs and Moxey LB. The complications to that are than Jonathan Parr is probably the first choice LB who will be facing a race for fitness after being injured late in the season and Gabbidon although he finished the season as the first choice CB only made 10 appearances compared to Ramages 40. To further complicate the CB position though is the possible return of club captain Patrick Mcarthy at CB although I dont believe there is a known return date. He also hasn’t featured in the pre-season games to date. Delaney and McCarthy are both £4.5m so that rules them out for me.
Therefore the best bet seems to be Ward the RB at £4.0m who should hold his place and has played RB in the 2 pre-season games.
This is where picking the line up is difficult at this stage of the pre-season. he midfield towards the end of the season was fairly predictable.
Zaha and Bolasie were regulars on the flank. Zaha obviously is at Man utd. Bolasie with 3 goals and 7 assists over 43 games gave reasonable returns over the season. He played most of the time on the left flank and may face competition from Jerome Thomas who’s cheaper at £4.5m. The 2 sitting double pivot midfielders were Dikgacoi and Jedinak who played most games but have little propect of returns given their deep lying position. Both are £4.5m and will provide cheap reserves although they wont get much more than 2 points each game and neither have great yellow card records. Jedinak is the best prospect as he is more hghly regarded. New signing Campana could play in that deeper position which mean 1 player may lose his place.
If holloway goes 4-2-3-1 then the candidates to play behind the striker are Garvan (27 games 4 goals and 6 assists) and Campana. It will need more time to assess this. Interestingly Garvan took the pen against Dagenham and it loooked like Campana, who doesn’t have the greatest scoring record, played deeper in the Gillingham game. At the moment Garvan looks like the most likely although Campana could still be a good option if he is inviolved in set pieces as he was in the Gillingham game.
In addition winger Quicy Owusu Abeyie is on trial and impressed plus scored in the friendly against Gillingham. He had a fairly unsuccessful stint las year with Panathanikos with 1 assist in 749 minutes of play. He’s also had some premier league experience with little return for Portsmouth and Arsenal back in the dim and distant past. He will probably battle with the left flank position with Bolasie
At the moment if forced to pick I would go for Garvan at £5.0m as a central attacking midfielder or Jedinak as a very cheap £4.5m midfielder
If you think that midfield was tricky it was a doddle compared to the striker position. Last year Glenn Murray scored 30 goals and 9 assists from 42 games but he’s injured until possibley the new year. When he left then Wilbraham filled in but with no goals and 2 assists from 21 games he really doesnt look the answer. So Holloway bought 2 strikers in Dwight Gale (£5.0m) and Stephen Dobbie £4.5m). Dobbie for Brighton last year scored 3 goals and 2 assists in 15 appearances or 750 minutes. This is a return every 150 minutes. You would be wanting more from this in the championship to translate into the premier league. Dwight Gayle has played 1 year in the Championship for Peterborough where he scored 13 goals and 6 assists in 23 matches which translated in to a return every 134 minutes. That was in a team that was ultimately relegated. This is a slighty better stat than Dobbie. Gayle and Dobbie both played in the friendly against Gillingham but it was Dobbie who impressed with a goal and assist. It is too early to figure out who will start at this time and only pre-season will seperate them.
There’s also rumours of Carlton Cole joining. He had a pretty ordinary time in the premier league last year scoring 2 goals and 2 assists in 14 starts and 1369 minutes ie a return every342 minutes. His record in the Championship though is better. In West Hams promotion year he scored 14 goals and 6 asssts in 28 starts which translated to a return every 125 minutes. This is better than Dobbie and Gayle but again nothing to distinguish himself.
Kevin Phillips also signed up and I should mention him as today is his 40th birthday but I cant see anything other than the odd substitute appearance.
Either Dobbie ,Gayle or Cole if he joins will lead the line in most likely 4-2-3-1. They will be good value and they will score goals because Crystal Palace will have to chase games as they certainly will be conceding goals.
Crystal palace should score goals as their defence will concede and they will need to chase games and score. They have ordinary fixtures to start so this will allow observation time before any desperate need to purchase players for a good fixture run. A number of acquisitions in the summer makes predicting a line up difficult so pre-season observation is essential
Best defence is: Ward a £4.0m RB. Crystal Palace rotate home and away with Hull best
Best midfielder is Garvan £5.0m a CAM who may take pens. Campana may also provide some set peice returns. Jedinak is your best £4.5m 2 pointer for your bench.
Best striker: Too uncertain to predict at the moment. There is value with Dobbie at £4.5m and Gayle at £5.0m. Carlton Cole is rumoured to join as another cheap option. They all should score some goals in good fixture runs due to Holloways attacking policy and a leaky defence enforcing a need to attack.
Line up prediction on todays limited facts:
4-2-3-1: Speroni (£4.5m)- Ward (4.0m) Parr (£4.0m) Delaney (£4.5m) McCarthy (£4.5m)/Gabbidon (£4.0m) – Jedinak (£4.5m) Campana (£5.0m) – Bolasie (£5.0m) Garvan (£5.0m) Thomas (£4.5m) – Gayle (£5.0m)
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