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How Crystal Palace could line up next season

Sports Mole looks at how Crystal Palace could line up at the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

Crystal Palace had struggled for form in the early stages of 2020 but posted three straight victories before the Premier League season was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Indeed, three successive 1-0 wins over Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford moved them into 11th position in the table, leaving any relegation fears behind.

Roy Hodgson's side are currently 12 points clear of the relegation zone and just four points off sixth, suggesting that they will be looking up the division if and when the season resumes.

With Premier League safety all but secured, the club will already be thinking about the new campaign, and here Sports Mole predicts how the London side could line up at the start of next season.


Palace will do well to keep hold of Vicente Guaita this summer with the 33-year-old excelling between the sticks. Indeed, he has kept nine Premier League clean sheets this term; the Spaniard has a contract at Selhurst Park until next summer, though, and should stay loyal to the English club.

Further forward, Mamadou Sakho has had his injury problems this season but should be fresh at the start of the 2020-21 campaign and could be given the chance to line up alongside Gary Cahill, who has impressed in recent weeks, in central defence.

Patrick Van Aanholt is the club's undisputed first-choice left-back and that should remain the case unless a bid comes in for his services, while Joel Ward's consistency could see him keep his spot on the other side; equally, though, right-back could be an area where the club look to strengthen this summer.

Queens Park Rangers' sporting director Les Ferdinand recently claimed that Palace had made an enquiry for Eberechi Eze, and it would not be a surprise to see the 21-year-old arrive at the club this summer. He has scored 12 Championship goals for the R's this season and would fit into a 4-3-3 formation.

James McArthur could be the player to drop out in midfield, although club captain Luka Milivojevic will also be determined to return to the side next season having lost his place in recent weeks.

Wilfried Zaha is bound to be the subject of a lot of speculation once again, but it seems unlikely that any club will be prepared to pay Palace's £80m asking price, meaning that the 27-year-old, who has only scored three Premier League goals this season, should remain at the club.

Jordan Ayew is a favourite of Hodgson and should continue on the opposite side, but there might well be a change in the centre-forward role with Fyodor Chalov being linked with a move.

The 21-year-old has scored six times and registered six assists in 31 appearances for CSKA Moscow this season and is allegedly wanted by the Eagles to lead their attack due to Christian Benteke's goal troubles.

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Gary Cahill in action for Crystal Palace against former side Chelsea on November 9, 2019
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