Old Habits Die Hard But Pre-Season Form Gives Confidence Ahead Of New Season

The off season has not been what we have become used to following the lengthy end to the 2019-20 season. No trips abroad to take part in pre-season tournaments, just some local opposition which could end being something that gets Palace off on the right foot.

Obviously, hands have been forced here but the four first team games that have been played have been good run outs. It is not as if the players have had a long break, let’s face it, so it should not take them long to get back into the swing of things from a fitness perspective.

PALACE 2-1 OXFORD UNITED

It all began at Selhurst Park when Karl Robinson’s League One outfit were the first opposition put in front of the Eagles. It was the vistors that got themselves ahead after 12 minutes courtesy of Cameron Brannagan but a second half fightback from the hosts ensured a deserved win.

After Jeffrey Schlupp missed from the spot following a foul on Wilfried Zaha, two quick fire goals from Zaha and James McArthur gave the Premier League side a lead they were not to relinquish.

It was a performance where the likes of Zaha and Schlupp shone along with Jairo Riedewald in an impressive midfield role, but it also highlighted some frailties at centre back with a number of absentees.

Henderson, Ward [Inniss, 70], Kouyaté [Kelly, 61], Dann [Woods, 70], Riedewald [Gordon, 80], Townsend [Malachi Boateng, 81], McCarthy [Mitchell, 20], McArthur [Kirby, 75], Zaha, Ayew [Meyer, 45], Schlupp [Pierrick, 70]

PALACE 3-0 CHARLTON ATHLETIC

Next up at Selhurst were local rivals Charlton Athletic who have been through the mill of late with relegation and ownership issues that threatened their very existence. Regardless, they appeared to treat this friendly to let out some frustration with a number of dubious challenges, particularly on Zaha.

However, it was men against boys in the end as Palace ran out comfortable winners with a brace from Jordan Ayew and one from the in form Zaha. The game will be remembered for Eberechi Eze making his first appearance in a Palace shirt, even if it was brief. He linked up well with Zaha, Townsend, and Ayew which, even considering the level of the opposition, it gave us a brief glimpse of what we might have to look forward to this season.

Hennessey, Ward (Kirby 64), Kouyaté (Woods 78), Dann (Inniss 78), Mitchell (Kelly 64), Townsend (Pierrick 78), Riedewald (Jach 78), McArthur (Malachi Boateng 78), Eze (Schlupp 45), Zaha, Ayew (Gordon 83)

MILLWALL 0-1 PALACE

In the first away trip of pre-season, if you can call a short hop across South London that, the Eagles notched a third win in succession with a narrow win over rivals Millwall.

An early goal from Max Meyer after some great work out wide from Zaha was enough to take victory in a game that saw Vicente Guaita make his first appearance. Dutchman Riedewald continued to show just what he could add to the midfield if given the opportunity which could end up giving Roy Hodgson a selection headache.

Guaita, Ward (Woods 74), Kouyaté (Jach 74), Dann (Kelly 45), Mitchell (Inniss 74), Schlupp (Kirby 74), Riedewald (Gordon 86), McArthur (Malachi Boateng 74), Meyer, Zaha (Pierrick 74), Ayew

PALACE 1-1 BRONDBY

To round off a shortened pre-season campaign, Swedish side Brondby were the visitors to Selhurst.

Zaha netted his third goal of pre-season to give the Eagles a half-time lead only for Brondby to level through Jesper Linstrom. Palace had their chances to take the victory but it was a familar story in front of goal.

Guaita, Ward, Kouyaté, Dann (Kelly 65), Mitchell, Schlupp, Riedewald, McArthur (Milivojevic 45), Townsend, Zaha, Ayew (Meyer 65)

All in all, it has been a positive run of games with game time for some players due to some high profile absentees. Zaha has showed some scintilating form throughout the four games, starting each of them. Notable mentions to Riedewald and Mitchell who both made claims for starting spots against Southampton.

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