Crystal Palace are going to have to dig deep this season. The club are inadvertently turning into a feeder for bigger, richer teams and, with each big-name departure, their FPL merits deplete a little bit more. In our Crystal Palace FPL team guide, we’ll be looking for the morsels of value that still remain.
Prior to this season, Palace have offered fertile hunting ground for budget options. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s now famously low price-tag last season was one of many: Jeffrey Schlupp, Luka Milivojevic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, James McArthur and James Tomkins have all proven to be under-valued assets in the past.
Is the next Wan-Bissaka hiding amongst their current crop of players? Let’s see if we can weed them out.
What style of football do Crystal Palace play?
Palace go into their 7th Premier League season as a well-established side, capable of results against any opponents. The Eagles have developed into a very balanced team, both physically and technically, under Roy Hodgson.
They tend to opt for a 4-4-2, which occasionally acts as a strikerless setup by calling on Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend to lead the line. A 4-3-3 has been used also, with one of Christian Benteke or Jordan Ayew being able to use their hold-up play in the middle to feed the wingers.
In Townsend and Zaha, Palace have 2 attackers with very different attributes. Zaha is the dynamic 1v1 dribbler who can drive at players and work in isolation. Townsend, meanwhile, is able to cut inside from wide to either shoot or draw in defenders to open up the flank. Generally, this dynamic style of attacking allows for a good level of creative freedom.
Not only are Palace now faced with the arduous task of replacing Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and, in all likelihood, Wilfred Zaha, but they must also find a capable striker in the new transfer window too. It’s likely Max Meyer will end up being a more prominent figure in the starting XI next season, but Palace cannot depend on the assets they currently have at their disposal. All eyes on the transfer window.
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Last season’s key statistics
You might need a double-take, but Crystal Palace did in fact score just six less than Man City, two less than Liverpool and eight more than Chelsea away from home last season. An impressive feat on the road, though in our opinion not sustainable having ranked 16th for expected goals from open play and five being converted from the penalty spot.
Talking about penalties, Palace were awarded 10 last season with the help of Wilfred Zaha. Despite this, they totalled just nine goals from set plays – only Southampton (8) and Fulham (6) ranked below them in this department.
FPL fixture difficulty
The table above shows the fixture difficulty of Crystal Palace’s opening six matches, as determined by our clean sheet tracker and attacking tracker. These difficulty trackers are based on last seasons home/away specific performance statistics. Newly promoted sides statistics have been weighted according to their transitional value.
Who takes penalties for Crystal Palace?
Accordingly to our data, Luka Milivojevic is the designated penalty taker for Crystal Palace. Christian Benteke is the most likely backup penalty taker.
Which Crystal Palace players to pick on FPL?
When we look at the departure of a player from a club, we shouldn’t only be evaluating the FPL impact on the player in question. Instead, we should also consider what happens to their teammates; both new and former. Wan-Bissaka’s departure from Crystal Palace can only be a bad thing for Crystal Palace’s defensive efforts.
It makes the likes of Patrick van Aanholt (£5.5m), Vicente Guaita (£5.0m) and James Tomkins (£5.0m) look unjustifiably overpriced. It’s little wonder that their highest owned defender is actually £4.0m Martin Kelly, whose 26 points last season were enough to make him a popular bench-fodder FPL pick.
When it became clear that VAR would be introduced to the Premier League, FPL managers were quick to joke that Luka Milivojevic would become near-essential. Indeed, 10 of his 12 goals last season were from 12 yards. But with the imminent departure of Zaha, they’re highly unlikely to be afforded so many opportunities from the spot in the 2019/20 season.
Besides, there’s little to suggest that VAR will have an impact on penalties. Even if there was, there’s nothing to suggest that their output is set to continue, which makes Milivojevic’s £7.0m price-tag a little too pricey when compared to the fellow penalty takers like Mark Noble (£5.0m) and Jorginho (£5.0m).
Looking at their forwards, Connor Wickham has seen a surge in popularity, largely owing to his £4.5m valuation. His upturn in ownership encapsulates a more general sentiment when it comes to Palace players: whilst they may fill a void, there’s nothing to get too excited about here. Unfortunately, any potential they may have offered has been nullified by their over-inflated prices.