This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
As things stand, the Premier League table is looking extremely tight.
Just eight points separate fifth to 18th place, and while any team currently outside of the European places could mount a surge up the table between now and the New Year, Crystal Palace are looking extremely well placed to do exactly that above others.
Crucially, the south Londoners have already faced Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Leicester, as well as the other sides currently making up the top ten.
As a result, Roy Hodgson can embark on the festive period with favourable-looking fixtures against Bournemouth, Watford, Brighton, Newcastle, West Ham, Southampton and Norwich, a run that could well leave Palace in a phenomenal position going into the January transfer window if they can yield a few wins.
It may be nothing but merely hypothetical, but if the Eagles can win even a few of these fixtures, then things could be looking pretty interesting ahead of the New Year – Palace are currently just two points off fifth, with no significant injury problems and star man Wilfried Zaha finally finding some form.
Even more significantly, not only could the next seven games determine whether or not Europe beckons or another relegation battle lies at Palace’s door, but with the January transfer window also on the horizon, it could leave the south Londoners in an attractive position for prospective signings.
New faces would presumably much rather jump on a coasting vessel with the wind in its sails, rather than jump into a sinking ship where their job would be to merely shovel the metaphorical water out of the vulnerable craft.
Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman would be left in a fantastic negotiating position should Hodgson oversee a few wins from these next seven games, and having made a £25m bid for Reece James and a £23m bid for Fedor Chalov back in the summer, it does seem as if the money is there to knit it all together.
In other Crystal Palace news, fans were thrilled for one man in particular in Burnley win…