Crystal Palace currently sit two points behind Arsenal and three points behind Tottenham in the Premier League. Surprising, isn't it?
Well, the Eagles have quietly gone about their business this season and have managed to steer clear of relegation, which now looks very unlikely. Three wins in their last three games have put them 11th, making manager Roy Hodgson a very happy man indeed.
Anyway, while football takes a break let's see what Palace have achieved this season and what they have left to do when football returns.
As It Stands
For the last few years now, Palace have finished seasons around the middle of the table and it looks to be a similar story this campaign.
In the cup competitions though, there's a lot to be desired. In the Carabao Cup, the Eagles were knocked out on penalties to League Two side Colchester United in only the second round.
Furthermore, in the third round of the FA Cup, they suffered a 1-0 loss to Wayne Rooney's Derby County.
Injury Status & Potential Returns
The Eagles have had quite a few injury issues this season, with Luka Milivojevic and Jeffrey Schlupp only just returning in their most recent fixture, the 1-0 win against Watford.
Former Liverpool centre back Mamadou Sakho has been out since the beginning of the year and is nearing a return. The Frenchman should be fully fit by the time Palace's next fixture comes around. Whenever that is.
Remaining Fixtures & Season Projection
When normality returns, Palace have nine Premier League fixtures still to play.
The Eagles are not an easy team to predict but it's common knowledge that they can struggle up front. They are yet to score three goals in one league game this season and have bagged a total of 26, just one more than bottom-placed Norwich.
|Aston Villa (A)||Win|
|Manchester United (H)||Lose|
Total Points Projection: 44
Predicted Finish: 13th
Now that is what you call a tricky run-in. Palace may pick up a couple of points but that's an onslaught of tough teams. Bar Manchester City and Sheffield United, they face every team currently in the top eight.
Let's just say the gap between Palace and the relegation zone may not be as big come the end of the season. They will still more than likely pick up enough points to avoid dropping anywhere near the bottom of the table.
Just look at those fixtures again! Absolute nightmare-fuel.
Player Contract Status
There's good news for Palace here as only one of their first-team players' contract will expire this summer.
English centre back Scott Dann has been at the club since 2014 and has been a regular mainstay in defence, but the 33-year-old may wave goodbye to Selhurst Park soon enough with Palace unlikely to renew his contract.
Gary Cahill has come in and provided more experience at the back, perhaps leaving Dann surplus to requirements.
Summer Transfer Plans
The Eagles are not a team to splash the cash and are normally fairly inactive when it comes to transfer windows, so it's no surprise to hear they've not been linked with many names.
They had agreed a January transfer move for West Brom full back Nathan Ferguson, only for the 19-year-old to fail the medical. Since then, Palace have kept an eye on his development and may move again for him in the summer.
If that doesn't materialise, they've been linked with River Plate defender Gonzalo Montiel but face potential competition from Inter, West Ham and Southampton.
Long Term Targets
If Palace want to progress as a club they will need to keep star player Wilfried Zaha and bring in quality players around him. A creative midfielder could transform a side that desperately needs to score more goals.
They will be looking to become a stable mid-table club for now and need a cup run to get the supporters excited, particularly after their performance in cup competitions this campaign.
Source : 90min