Crystal Palace’s Premier League Campaign and Their Showdown Against Fulham
Crystal Palace has had a mixed start to their Premier League (PL) season, with two wins, one draw, and two losses. Despite their recent 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa, the Eagles find themselves in the top half of the table. Manager Roy Hodgson was absent from the sidelines during the Villa Park match due to illness, and his team conceded three late goals. However, Hodgson will return to the dugout as Crystal Palace welcomes his former team, Fulham, to Selhurst Park.
Hodgson, at 76 years old, has been a revelation in his second stint with the club, losing only three of his 16 games in charge since April (eight wins and four draws). Crystal Palace’s home fans are hoping that Hodgson’s undefeated record in top-flight matches against Fulham remains intact (three wins and four draws). This desire for victory comes after a disastrous hosting of their London rivals last season, resulting in a 3-0 loss and two red cards under Patrick Vieira’s management.
Speaking of poor records against London rivals, Fulham’s win at Selhurst Park last season is their only away victory in a London Derby in 20 attempts (five draws and 14 losses). A win here could see them achieve successive away victories against Palace for the first time since 1978, and it would also allow them to leapfrog their hosts in the table, trailing only on goal difference.
Fulham could also match their best-ever PL points tally after six matches with a victory in this fixture. However, they will need to deliver a much-improved performance compared to their narrow 1-0 win over Luton in their last outing. Most of Fulham’s success has come from solid defensive performances, as they have scored more than one goal in just one of their last seven matches.
Key players to watch in this clash include Odsonne Édouard, Crystal Palace’s most prolific attacker with five goals this season. Notably, all his goals have come in the second half of matches. On the other side, Fulham’s Carlos Vinícius opened his account for the 2023/24 season with the winning goal against Luton. He has been a crucial player for Fulham, scoring his side’s opening goal in three of his last four goalscoring appearances.
A notable statistic for Crystal Palace is their impressive home record in the Premier League, having suffered defeats only to Arsenal and Manchester City in their last 12 home matches (four wins and six draws). This solid home form will provide them with confidence as they face their London rivals, Fulham.