Crystal Palace HAVE TO turn Selhust Park into a fortress in coming weeks

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It’s fair to say things haven’t exactly gone according to plan at Crystal Palace since Sam Allardyce took over in December. He’s won just one of eight Premier League games in charge of the Eagles.

Luckily for Big Sam and Palace fans though, other sides around the relegation zone have struggled to pull away from the south London outfit, with just five points separating the bottom six in the table, while Allardyce’s men are just two points off safety.

But as things stand, it looks as though they’re doing everything in their power to go down, having failed to score in six of their last eight games in all competitions.

And while they’ve managed to score more than nine other sides in the top-flight this season, it’s worth noting that 27 of their 32 goals came in their opening 15 games. They’ve since netted just five in eight.

Breaking down their points tally reveals some worrying figures. Away from home, the Eagles are performing at a decent level – better than eight other sides in fact.

But nobody is worse on home soil.

Palace have picked up just seven points from a possible 36 at Selhurst Park this season. To put that into context, bottom side Sunderland have picked up almost double, while Hull City and and Swansea City have 15 and 14 points to their name respectively.

Quite simply, things have to change if Crystal Palace they are to stand any chance of avoiding the drop – and quick.

Five of their next eight league games are at Selhurst Park. Whether that is a good or bad thing, we’ll know in two months’ time.

One positive that supporters can take though is that they’d consider five of their remaining seven home games winnable.

That’s because the likes of Man United, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton have already visited Selhurst (and won, rather unsurprisingly). Of the so-called ‘big teams’, only Arsenal and Tottenham still have to travel to south London.

History suggests the Eagles have it all to do though, as this poor run of form at home isn’t anything new. In fact, of their last 50 Premier League games in their own backyard, they’ve won just 12.

So Big Sam will have to buck the trend, despite failing to pick up a single point in SE25 since taking over.

He’ll have an opportunity to put that right this weekend though, when fellow strugglers Middlesbrough visit. A long overdue win for the hosts will see them level on points with their opponents.

And that’s a very realistic outcome, given that Boro have won just once on the road this campaign.

At 21/20, Palace are well priced to kick-start their campaign at just the right time in the season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.