Adrian Clarke looks at the impact of new managers in the relegation fight, which is the closest ever at this stage of the season, with only four points separating the bottom nine clubs.
Crystal Palace might still be searching for their first victory of 2023, but Hodgson inherits a squad with enough quality to secure Premier League safety.
Last weekend's 4-1 loss at Arsenal under Patrick McCarthy’s caretaker stewardship was a rarity.
In 20 of their 28 matches this season, Palace have conceded a maximum of one goal.
This is by some distance the most impressive figure among the teams battling it out to avoid relegation.
Hodgson, renowned for his defensive organisation, takes over a side who are more than capable of staying in matches and being competitive.
He does not need to make too many changes to Palace’s solid work off the ball.
Under Patrick Vieira, the Eagles wanted to enjoy more possession, but they have regressed in this department.
Their average share of the ball has dropped from 50.8 per cent last season to only 43.2 per cent this campaign.
When Hodgson left Palace at the end of the 2020/21 campaign, they had an even lower share of 39.9 per cent.
So, it would be a surprise if they suddenly became possession-heavy in the closing weeks.
A team containing the individual skill of Wilfried Zaha, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise should not be struggling to create quality chances, but that is the reality.
In open play, Palace have laboured, scoring only 12 goals outside of set-pieces and penalties.
Their Expected Goals metric is also the lowest in the division.
A return to the counter-attacking style seen under Hodgson in his previous spell could be his first port of call.
|Club||Expected goals||Club||Goals scored|
|Crystal Palace||15.9||Crystal Palace||12|
|AFC Bournemouth||16.8||Nott'm Forest||13|
Palace’s weakest department is central midfield.
Out of possession, they do a solid enough job, but their service to the forwards must improve if the team want more goals.
We could see more of Eze, who has four goals and three assists this season, in a deeper role, or even a return for Jordan Ayew in a midfield berth.
Hodgson’s appointment could also be good news for Jean-Philippe Mateta as he likes to have a physical presence up front.
Mateta has made only six starts this term, but Hodgson may be tempted to adopt a more direct approach.
Do not expect radical changes at Palace, but Hodgson is sure to make one or two adjustments to help restore stability.
Part 1: How Gracia has given Leeds width and greater control
Part 2: Positive approach paying off for Lopetegui
Part 3: Dyche's style bringing stability to Everton