Feature

Can Hodgson keep Crystal Palace up?

By Anish Dogra 21 Mar 2023
Roy Hodgson applauds

We look at the fixtures that will define whether the decision to re-appoint the 75-year-old is a success

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Crystal Palace have taken the dramatic step of re-appointing Roy Hodgson to retain their Premier League status, but will it be the right one?

Palace are six places clear of the relegation zone, sitting 12th, but they are only three points above the bottom three and four away from Southampton at the foot of the table.

The relegation fight

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
12 Chelsea CHE 38 -9 44
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers WOL 38 -27 41
14 West Ham United WHU 38 -13 40
15 Bournemouth BOU 38 -34 39
16 Nottingham Forest NFO 38 -30 38
17 Everton EVE 38 -23 36
18 Leicester City LEI 38 -17 34
19 Leeds United LEE 38 -30 31
20 Southampton SOU 38 -37 25
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A winless run of 12 matches and one victory in 14 are what cost Patrick Vieira, Hodgson’s successor, his job.

But Vieira faced a tough run of fixtures post-FIFA World Cup 2022, every one being against a team above Palace in the table. Hodgson will fortunately inherit a much kinder run of matches.

Of their 10 remaining matches, Palace take on only two sides currently in the top half of the table - Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham - but these away fixtures will be in Matchweeks 35 and 37.

Foxes to start

The remainder will feature clubs battling to avoid the drop. Hodgson’s first encounter will be huge, starting with an out-of-form Leicester City at Selhurst Park on 1 April.

“Crystal Palace is known for its fighting spirit, and I have no doubt that all our supporters will fight with us, beginning with the visit of Leicester City a week Saturday,” Hodgson said on the club's official website after his re-appointment.

The 75-year-old has fond memories of facing Leicester, his Palace side beating them in four successive meetings from December 2017 to February 2019, scoring 13 times and conceding just once.

Palace's final 10 fixtures
MW Opp. MW Opp.
29 LEI (H) 34 WHU (H)
30 LEE (A) 35 TOT (A)
31 SOU (A) 36 BOU (H)
32 EVE(H) 37 FUL (A)
33 WOL (A) 38 NFO (H)

Thereafter, Palace face Leeds United and Southampton, the former of whom has shown excellent form since Javi Gracia’s appointment.

The Whites also boast a strong record against the Eagles, having won both encounters at Elland Road since their return to the Premier League.

The Eagles then have three matches in the space of a week as they welcome Everton and West Ham United to Selhurst Park while travelling to Wolverhampton Wanderers in-between.

By the time Palace travel to Spurs, they will have hoped to secure their top-flight status for another season.

Should they still be in stuck the mix, their last two home matches against AFC Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest could be defining.

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