2014/15 was a tale of two seasons for Crystal Palace.
At the half-way stage the Eagles were flying high, fifth in the table and just four points off the Champions League spots.
The second half of the season, however, yielded just two wins as Alan Pardew’s side slid down the table and narrowly avoided being sucked into a relegation battle.
The FA Cup run would clearly have played a part in this but Pardew will know it is vital his side start well as losing can become a difficult habit to get out of in the Premier League.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Crystal Palace are now beginning their fourth consecutive season in the top flight – their best run since the Premier League was formed. They never looked in serious relegation trouble and came within 12 minutes from wining the FA Cup at Wembley.
The club have invested significantly in the transfer market this summer while Andros Townsend, Steve Mandanda and James Tomkins all look sensible additions.
Reasons to be fearful:
Crystal Palace picked up just 11 points over the second half of last season and if that form continues they’ll be down by Christmas. Despite agreeing a fee with Liverpool the Eagles have been unable to agree terms with Christian Benteke and are still to land a top quality striker to lead the line.
Andros Townsend (Newcastle United, £13m), Steve Mandanda (Marseille, free), James Tomkins (West Ham, £10m).
Out the door:
Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United, £10m), Alex McCarthy (Southampton, £4m), David Gregory (Cambridge, free), Chris Kettings (Oldham, free), Jake Gray (Luton, free), Emmanuel Adebayor (released), Marouane Chamakh (released), Brede Hangeland (released), Adrian Mariappa (released), Reise Allassani (released), Christian Scales (released), Connor Dymond (released), Jerome Binnom-Williams (Peterborough, undisclosed).
Yohan Cabaye – the Frenchman pulls the strings in the Eagles midfield and his contribution will again be vital.
One to watch:
Jonny Williams – the 22-year-old enjoyed a fine Euro 2016 campaign with Wales and will be keen to establish himself in the Crystal Palace line-up this season after spending the last few campaigns on loan.
First five games:
West Brom (H), Tottenham (A), Bournemouth (H), Middlesbrough (A), Stoke City (H)
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Arsenal, Bournemouth, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Hull City, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United.