As has been discussed here already, the last week saw a very positive performance from the Eagles as they went to Stamford Bridge and were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Chelsea. On another day it may have been more but also the visitors may have come away with a point, and the second half performance in particular is one that the team and supporters can take pride in.
Taking this form into the Christmas period will be important, but difficult games face the Eagles with a quick turnaround. Newcastle on Saturday followed by trips to Villa and Manchester City before Norwich visit Selhurst on New Years day. Whatever happens over this period Palace have shown that they have the capabilities to compete in this league, particularly in recent weeks.
This was the first time Palace had conceded more than once since the beginning of November and they will need to be alert to keep up their recent good defensive displays.
Marouane Chamakh, bagging his third goal in three games at the Bridge, has been able to turn recent promising spells into goals and in turn confidence in front of goal. When he joined it was clear he had a good touch and hold-up play abilities, but as a lone striker was unable to be truly effective. His recent partnership with Cameron Jerome has helped push the team on and his performances deserve special mention.
Elsewhere this week, the Manchester United game, originally moved to Sunday to accommodate television, has now been moved back to the Saturday but at 5.30pm to remain live on the box. This change was due to Manchester United’s Champions League draw, and tickets have now gone on sale at the club Box Office.
Four games over the next two weeks for every club will certainly make for an interesting Christmas period, and of course there will be updates throughout on Palace Mad.
Daniel Smith - @dmsmith1987