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November 25 2020 10.05pm

What’s a realistic aim for next season?

August 23 2020

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson

Crystal Palace failed to finish in the top half of the Premier League last season for the first time since 2017, writes Jim Leyland.

Although they were well clear of the drop zone at the end of the campaign, Roy Hodgson will be hoping for much better from his side next season.

With a fresh campaign to look forward to, where can the Eagles realistically aim to finish next season?

Top six is not a likely target

The top six in the Premier League table is often dominated by the same teams, however Leicester were able to break into one of those positions last season, while Wolves and Sheffield United were in strong contention.

Although Leicester and Wolves have invested heavily on their squads over the last few years, they should be a benchmark for what can be achieved with some consistency in the league.

The financial rewards for a top-six finish are obviously huge as it ensures a passage into Europe. Wolves narrowly missed out on qualifying for the competition again, but they did manage to reach the quarter-finals in this year's competition before coming unstuck against a talented Sevilla side.

The Spanish side have made it all through to the final and are currently priced at 4/5 in the Europa League 2020 outright odds to go all the way.

If the Eagles are to be in the race for a top-six finish next season, they are going to need a better opening half of the campaign. Between the 19th October and 23rd November last year, they picked up just one point out of a possible 15.

Another concern for Hodgson will be the way his side finished the campaign. They lost seven of their last eight matches, with their only point coming in the final game of the campaign following a 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

This may be down to not having much to play for in June or July. With a few new faces following the summer transfer window, the Palace boss will be hoping to put that right.

The Eagles are 25/1 in the top six betting next season, which suggests it would be a big surprise if they finished in one of those positions. On the flip side, Palace are 2/1 in the relegation betting. They are behind only Fulham, West Brom and Aston Villa in that market.

Fans would love a good cup run

Although a strong league position will be the priority for Palace next term, a good run in one of the two domestic competitions is likely to be a strong target too.

Palace fans will be desperate for their side to lift some silverware in the near future. They reached the final of the FA Cup in 2016 where they were beaten by Manchester United at Wembley following extra-time.

The Eagles may need a bit of luck along the way in the draws for the two competitions but if they get that next season, it could give Palace fans something to get excited about.

The new campaign is set to begin on the 12th September with a home clash with Southampton and Hodgson will be aiming for a winning start.

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