Crystal Palace FPL Preview – Fantasy Football Tips

Crystal Palace have been a solid Premier League outfit for six seasons now and their fans and the club will be looking to push on this season. They finished 12th last season under Roy Hodgson, notching 49 points, three of which coming away to Manchester City, meaning Palace were the only side to take points at the Etihad last season.

On to this season, where Palace haven’t had the best preparation. The stand out right back of last season was Palace product Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but he has made a move to the red half of Manchester for around £50 million. At the moment, Steve Parish still hasn’t invested a vast amount of that money with his only two signings so far being; Stephen Henderson on a free and Jordan Ayew for a couple of million.

However it is another product of theirs that has been hitting the headlines this transfer window. Tricky winger Wilfried Zaha has been strongly linked with Arsenal and Everton this summer, with the two clubs making below par bids for the Ivorian. Arsenal have seemingly looked elsewhere and if Palace can fend off everybody else, then come the start of the season, Zaha will feel like a new signing.

Pre-season form

Hodgson’s side has had a mixed pre season to say the least. After two games in Switzerland, his men headed to Barnet where they were thumped 6-2. In defence of Hodgson and his side, he put out a youth team with a couple of fringe first team players, so too much shouldn’t be read into that. Since then the first team handed out a thrashing for themselves with a 5-0 victory over a strong Bristol City side, so who will be their key men this season? Let’s find out…

Star Man – Luka Milivojevic (£7.0m)

Milivojevic has been Palace’s top scorer for their last two Premier League campaigns, and this season he is tipped to score even more. With the pace and skill of Andros Townsend and the above mentioned Zaha, there’s no wonder why the Serbian is scoring from 12 yards on a regular basis. The Serb has scored 22 over his last two seasons and will be an FPL favourite once again this season, for sure.

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The introduction of VAR is a controversial one, but looking at the World Cup last summer, it will certainly make the game more interesting. Penalties will be a lot more common, so the likes of Milivojevic could have a field day this season if Townsend and Zaha are on form. He is clinical from the spot, with Palace fans likening him to Mile Jedinak who played a similar role whilst with the club.

Hidden Gem – Max Meyer (£5.5m)

When Max Meyer joined Palace on a free last summer, eyebrows were raised as he was on of the most sought after European prospects. However, he hasn’t yet really kicked on from that potential as he initially struggled to cement a place in Hodgson’s starting eleven. He’s shown some glimpses in pre season that he has got the talent to back up the hype.

The midfield maestro is still only 23 years old and with the experience around him, he should improve in this Palace side, once given a healthy run of games. Meyer will be at the forefront of the Eagles’ attacks next season, especially if Zaha leaves Selhurst Park. £5.5m for the German could turn out to be a steal, depending on how far forward he plays and how involved he gets. He’s owned by just 0.2% of FPL managers, making him a massive differential.

Gamble Pick – Christian Benteke (£6.0m)

A couple of seasons ago, Benteke at £6.0m would be a no brainer, but the Belgian has struggled for two seasons now. He has failed to make an impact under Roy Hodgson, and this season will ultimately be do or die for the striker. Young forward Alexander Sorloth and Connor Wickham will be waiting in the wings if Benteke doesn’t start the season well, and that pressure might be what he needs to start performing again.

Before the 2017/18 campaign, Benteke went four consecutive seasons scoring a century of FPL points, but in the two seasons after he has racked up just 117. This is mainly due to the lack of game time, but he is also awfully out of form. If he can rediscover his 2016/17 form, which saw him bag 15 goals then he will be a very decent pick at £6.0m.

Predicted Line-up

Ward – Kelly – Sakho – Van aanholt
McArthur – Milivojevic – Meyer
Townsend – Benteke – Ayew/Zaha

Written by, Harry Clark (@HarryClark_)

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