Season Preview. Crystal Palace – Hull City

August 9, 2013

Crystal Palace

Favourites to go down. Probably favourites to finish bottom. And the value setting panel at FPL clearly believe this too. Only Glen Murray comes in at 5.5 million. Every other player is 5 million or less. Glen Murray is also injured. Badly. It was his goals that fired them to 5th in the Championship and a crack at promotion through the play offs. They relied on 73 year old Kevin Phillips in the play off final to finish the job. Murray’s cruciate injury meant he couldn’t complete the season, and it’ll be a while before he plays any games in this. So Holloway has splashed out a club record on a kid called Dwight Gayle, who was playing non league football only a year ago. And it looks as if he’ll be leading the line come kick off against Spurs. Elsewhere Palace’s survival will depend on whether seasoned Championship players can make the step up. Their captain Mile Jedinak, newly signed winger Jerome Thomas and holding midfielder, Kagisho Dikgacoi are other likely guaranteed starters. You’d like to think Holloway will be a little bit wiser regarding his defensive tactics this time round. Blackpool conceded an average of 23,109,230,987 goals a game in their all-or-nothing Premiership year. If you dare go defensive with Palace – or more like – you’ve got 4 million left and you don’t know what to do with it – Jonathan Parr is a young, forward thinking left back, who often gets moved forward to the left midfield berth, and is now Norway’s first choice, following Jon Arne Riise’s retirement.

Buy:- Mile Jedinak. Powerful force and ever present in the Palace midfield.

Avoid:- Danny Gabbidon. Runs like an old man.

Bargain:- Dwight Gayle. They’re all cheap. They’re all potential bargains. And Gayle is the one with the goal responsibility. You never know.


As one of the four top six teams to change their manager over the summer, Everton will be hoping for as smooth a transition as possible. Roberto Martinez employed a 3-4-3 formation for much of his time at Wigan. If Everton adapt to this, there are potential rich pickings for fantasy managers with Everton defenders and midfielders. In as much as Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman could find themselves pushed a little further forward and playing as wing backs, and Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas may find themselves playing either side of the middle front man. Some Everton fans are reacting a little cautiously to the influx (two players?) of former Wigan men into their team. Arouna Kone was a threat last year, and will provide good competition for Jelavic and Anichebe, and could even play one of those front wide roles. Alcaraz on the other hand belongs in Sunday League. Martinez obviiously likes him, but hopefully he’ll realise he’ll only need him in emergencies, and stick with the tried and tested Jagielka, Distin and Heitinga.

Buy:- Kevin Mirallas. Pushed forward to the front three should only result in more goals and more assists.

Avoid:- Antolin Alcaraz. Ee-aw!

Bargain:- Seamus Coleman. Recaptured a bit of form in the second half of last season, and seems to be first choice right back now. As a marauding wing back his points total could increase considerably.


Dimitar Berbatov still plays for Fulham. That’s all you need to know. And he’s been priced at 7.5 million pounds, which is very tempting. He scored 15 goals and amassed 28 bonus points last season. Nobody else at the Cottage got even close to that. Take Berbatov out of this team and you’ve got relegation fodder. Which is why starts and goals are almost guaranteed. Bryan Ruiz should partner Berbatov. Ruiz managed 10 assists (probably all for Berbatov), and their partnership could flourish if he’s given more game time. At the back Brede Hangeland is ever reliable, and has a goal in him, although only 7 clean sheets last season was down on previous scores. Fulham are much better at home. Some kind of rotating tactics could work well with any Fulham picks, particularly from their back line.

Buy:- Dimitar Berbatov. Injury permitting 15 goals should be an easy target for him to reach.

Avoid:- Hugo Rodellega. In five Prem seasons has only reached double figures once.

Bargain. :- Alex Kacaniklic. A sort of super-sub for the last few seasons, but should start more regularly.

Hull City

Last season Steve Bruce got the best out of the resources available to him, devising a 3-5-2 formation in which the chief creator, Robert Koren, excelled, the three centre-backs provided solidity and Ahmed Elmohamady and Robbie Brady provided pace and crosses from wing back positions. They were deprived of their leading strikers for much of the campaign. And so Bruce’s summer shopping has centred around strengthening his attacking line up. Yannick Sagbo has joined from Evian, and is somewhat of an unknown quantity, and Danny Graham has come in on loan from Sunderland. Having been overshadowed by Michu in the first half of last season at Swansea, and then not adapting to life on Wearside, Graham will want to get his career up and running again. Lets not forget he bagged 12 goals in an impressive first season in the Premiership with Swansea. As with Palace, there are no players available at over 5.5 million. Graham, Koren and George Boyd are the “pricey” options, but it’s another former Sunderland man, Ahmed Elmohamady, that seems the best value. Their player of the season last season will cost you 5 million. One of the first on the teamsheet you would expect, and a good chance of racking up plenty of assist points.

Buy:- Robert Koren. The Hull fulcrum. Takes pens, free kicks and corners too.

Avoid:- Abdoulaye Faye. Creaky.

Bargain:- Ahmed Elmohamady. Replicating his 3 goals and 9 assists from last season with an ever present appearance record should see him over 100 points.


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