Inside Selhurst Park

Friday 1 February 2019 13:30

Crystal Palace fan Lauren Roffey discusses Michy Batshuayi's arrival, Wilfried Zaha's absence, and what we can expect at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

How would you rate Palace’s season so far?

Disappointing. We finished last season strongly and came away thinking that this season we would finally push on, but here we are in a relegation scrap. I think we have enough to stay up, but it's frustrating to be looking at the league table and sweating yet again.

Roy Hodgson holds legendary status at Fulham – how’s he thought of in SE25?

At the end of last season, we would have agreed with you. However, football fans are a fickle lot and Roy has recently come under a bit of pressure. Before Christmas we went on a bad run which included a shambolic defeat at Brighton; this in itself is enough to put any manager in the firing line. A shock win at Man City came just at the right time for Roy. My personal feeling is that Roy is doing a solid job overall.

Who have been your standout performers so far?

Aaron Wan-Bissaka, our young full-back. I remember fearing the worst when Joel Ward got injured and AWB was thrown into the starting XI against Spurs, but he has been fantastic. He's only 20 but has adjusted to first team football remarkably. Andros Townsend is another who rarely lets us down and pops up with some fantastic goals.

How big a loss will Wilfried Zaha be through suspension?

Zaha will be a massive loss. He's our talisman and, even though his form has dipped a little lately, he has so much talent and ability. Unfortunately, he also has a temper. I share his frustrations where fouls are concerned - he's routinely kicked to pieces and referees don't always respond accordingly. But the behaviour that got him banned for tomorrow let himself and his teammates down.

What are your thoughts on the arrival of Michy Batshuayi?

We wanted to sign Batshuayi when Big Sam was manager, I believe, and I'm really pleased he's made the move now. We need more options up front and he's clearly a talented player. I'm sure he'll feel he has a point to prove given his move to Chelsea and subsequent loan spells haven't really worked out. I hope he can hit the ground running as we are desperate for goals, especially at home. In fact, I've almost forgotten what it's like to celebrate one.

Where do you think you can end up this season?

Mid-table. We're typically a second half of the season team, so I hope and expect we can pull further away from the relegation zone and the 'squeaky bum time' can lessen a bit.

How does Hodgson have you set up these days?

Roy sets the team up defensively and is largely successful in doing so - the pairing of Sakho and Tomkins at the back is strong. With Zaha and Townsend regulars in the team, however, we do create a lot of chances going forward. If only we had a decent striker to finish them – hopefully Batshuayi can be just that.

Have you seen much of Fulham at all?

Not a lot I'm afraid. I only watch Match of the Day when we win, so I haven't seen it much this season! I did see the defeat against Spurs on TV, and I was gutted for you lot. It's just such a horrible way to lose.

Any Fulham players you think could cause you problems?

Absolutely – Mitrović is obviously a good player and Sessegnon could cause problems with his pace.

Where’s a good spot for away fans to get a pre-match drink?

As much as I'm fond of our stadium, it's not a good area for drinking in. The options are even more limited for away fans these days. I would suggest having a drink at Boxpark by East Croydon station and then making the short journey (by train) to the ground.

What sort of match are you anticipating?

Both teams will be desperate to get more points on the board so I'm expecting a tight, scrappy game. I look forward to hopefully watching a good battle on the wing between Sessegnon and Wan-Bissaka!

What score prediction are you going for?

1-1. We don't score many at home, and as mentioned before, I think the game will be tight.

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