How Crystal Palace can use the FA Cup as a springboard
Charlie Dear | 30 January 2019
Cup run could be vital for Palace going forward
Selhurst Park can be one of the most raucous and difficult grounds to go to in the Premier League.
The club have the famed ‘Holmesdale Fanatics’ that create an intense atmosphere for travelling sides.
But on the pitch the team can often blow hot and cold.
However, this season Palace have taken the scalps of both Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur proving in the recent FA Cup win.
They also scored three goals at Anfield this month, but they’ve dropped plenty of points in winnable home matches too. Being as long as 12/1 to be relegated, we investigate why they should set their sights higher.
The Zaha Effect
It’s public knowledge how much Palace have relied on attacker Wilfried Zaha.
The club went 13 games, stretching over two years, without picking up a point when Zaha didn’t feature – proving he’s more than just a wing-man.
But a win at home against Leicester City in December 2018 put a stop to that.
Zaha is without doubt the jewel in Palace’s crown but as talk of a move away from the club intensifies they may have to get used to his absence.
It’s a team game
Whilst Zaha does play the majority of the games, there has been other players that have stepped up to the plate.
Skipper Luka Milivojevic has been impressive, proving an unmovable object at the heart of the midfield.
The Serbian has bagged six goals so far this season and has great dead ball delivery. He has only missed two of 16 penalties for Palace since 2017.
Andros Townsend has also been a large part of anything good Palace have done this season. The former Spurs man scored against his former club last weekend and netted a thunderous volley against City last year.
Wickham striking back?
Palace are crying out for someone to put the ball in the back of the net. Christian Benteke was meant to be that guy. But after 15 league goals in his first season, he’s gone off the boil.
Townsend with seven goals is the club’s current top scorer, but they could have an ace up their sleeve in this relegation battle of wits.
Connor Wickham has finally returned from the knee injury that has kept him out from November 2016.
He looked visibly overwhelmed after notching on his return to the starting line-up against Tottenham.
If that goal can be the catalyst for the 25-year-old to rediscover his form, then Palace could be looking up rather than over their shoulder.
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