To enhance my 2016/17 Premier League projection I’m reviewing factors that may impact each team’s strength compared with last season, as explained here. Next up Palace.
Palace’s Cup Final appearance masked what was probably considered a poor season. They were solid bottom-half-of-table, without any serious threat of relegation. Goal scoring was the main problem.
To illustrate the relative strengths of key players joining and leaving, the numbers below compare defensive, passing and attacking strength against the average premier league player in 2015/16 (0% means at the same level as the average premier league player, greater than 0% is better and less than 0% is worse). Defensive assessment is the sum of defensive actions (tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks). Passing is number of completed passes, and attacking strength is goals plus assists (all measured per match). This isn’t a robust statistical analysis, and can be skewed due to acquisition from a weaker league or lack of minutes played – but the purpose is to simply indicate the comparative strength of incoming and outgoing players.
Five senior players departing, but they only played 7% of total minutes between them. Given Palace’s scoring problems it’s not surprising 3 misfiring strikers have departed. As yet there are no striker replacements – but Connor Wickham’s expected to see more game time. The new outfield players both have strong Premier League pedigree, and should strengthen both ends of the team.
Also signed is goalkeeper Steve Mandanda from Marseille.
No. No change.
Little difference, maybe slightly stronger – but goal scoring still looks a problem.