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Opponents in focus - Crystal Palace

Opponents in focus - Crystal Palace

Last Season

Palace's travails last season will be uncomfortably familiar to Pompey fans - and not just because Paul Hart also oversaw part of their season. Under the stewardship of Neil Warnock, the club started the season fairly well, and looked a decent bet to make the play-offs, despite operating on a budget due to financial issues. Then in January, for the second time in their history, the club went into administration. The Football League imposed a ten-point penalty, the club were forced to sell off players like Victor Moses on the (relative) cheap, Warnock left, and the club were suddenly staring relegation in the face. Palace eventually clung on and ensured their Championship survival on the very last day of the season in an incredibly eventful 2-2 draw at Hillsborough - a draw that also saw Wednesday sent down.

Colours

Palace play in Barcelona-esque Red & Blue vertical stripes, although an internet search reveals that they have worn a variety of different home colours over the years, with the current style emerging in 1973.

Head to head

Pompey don't have a good record against Palace - of 50 meetings, 20 have gone the way of the South Londoners, while only 12 have gone Portsmouth's way - although, if you'd like more positive omens, Portsmouth are unbeaten in their last six meetings with Palace, with Pompey winning four.

League standings in last 5 years

2009-10 - 21st, Championship (Palace were deducted 10 points for entering administration)
2008-09 - 15th, Championship
2007-08 - 5th, Championship
2006-07 - 12th, Championship
2005-06 - 6th, Championship

Fixture dates

At Selhurst Park - Tuesday 14th September, 8pm
At Fratton Park - Tuesday 22nd February, 7:45pm

The man in charge

After an eventful season last year which saw the club starting the season managed by neutrals-favourite Neil 'Colin' Warnock, and ending it managed by the man who had started his season managing Pompey - Paul Hart - the club are now entering a new era under the stewardship of George Burley.

Difficult to know where to start with Burley to be honest, we'll gloss over his spell with that lot down the road, but even leaving that aside, he's had a fairly eventful career. He shone brightly at Ipswich - taking them up to the Premier League, then into a hugely impressive 5th place in the Premier League the following season - then it all went pair shaped, Town were relegated, and Burley was out of a job. He had an up and down stint in charge of Derby, then a stunning half-season at Hearts before he left following a falling-out with club chairman Vladimir Romanov. And that's all before you get to his fairly dismal recent spell in charge of Scotland.

It's difficult to judge whether this is a good or bad appointment for Palace, but you would imagine that he would have a fair amount to prove after the media-kicking he got as Scotland manager.

Key players

Argentine 'keeper Julian Speroni has been Palace's player of the year for the past three seasons - a club record - and sadly, you would imagine that given the club's financial problems, the 'keeper will probably have a busy season again this year.

Another big player for the club last year was English midfielder Darren Ambrose, who joined the club in July last year, and scored an impressive 22 goals in all competitions. There were numerous rumours that he was off to resume working with ex-Palace manager Warnock at QPR, but it has just been announced that he has signed a new three-year contract, which will surely kill those rumours - and will presumably be a massive boost to the club.

Stadium

Palace's ground is the 26,000 capacity Selhurst Park, situated in South Norwood, deep in South London. It's been the club's home since it was opened in 1924 - and has also at different times hosted the 'home' games of Charlton Athletic and the club formerly known as Wimbledon FC.

Written by SouthLondonBlue.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

Opponents in focus: Barnsley FC - here.
Opponents in focus: Bristol City - here.
Opponents in focus: Burnley - here.
Opponents in focus: Cardiff - here.
Opponents in focus: Coventry - here.

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Writer:SouthLondonBlue
Date:Wednesday July 28 2010
Time: 8:00AM

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