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New Boys On The Block: Crystal Palace

Wrapping up our look at this season's clubs that were promoted to the EPL, we take a look at our old friend Ian Holloway and Crystal Palace.

Mike Hewitt

Who: Crystal Palace FC, founded in 1905. Last in the Premier League in 2005, when they were relegated after an 18th place finish.

Where: Selhurst Park, London. Seating capacity 26,309

Promoted By: Finished 5th in the nPower Championship and defeated Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford in the Promotion Playoffs. Their leading scorer was Glenn Murray, who scored a resounding 30 goals for the Eagles.

Manager: Ian Holloway. Holloway took the Crystal Palace job in November of last year after resigning from his Blackpool post. Holloway had gotten Blackpool promoted for the 2010/2011 EPL campaign, but the Tangerines were relegated after just one season and a 19th place finish.

Tactics: Holloway's tactics are considered refreshing and exciting by many. He primarily uses a 4-2-3-1 formation with fast wingers that can either go to the touchline or cut in and crash the box, with a playmaker behind the striker that stays central and has the work rate to go box-to-box and support the defense as well as the attack. Notably, Holloway is not at all afraid to be more conservative when he needs to be, flattening his midfield in to more of a 4-5-1 and playing off the counter.

Featured Returning Players: Patrick McCarthy is Palace's captain, and the Irish center back will almost be something of a new signing for the Eagles, as he missed all of last season with a groin injury. Midfielder Mile Jedinak is their vice-captain and a good holding mid with the added benefit of being able to deliver a good long ball. Murray as their leading scorer will be an important cog, although how he adapts to the EPL will be vital, as he's never played at England's top level before.

New Arrivals: Jose Campana comes in from Sevilla, giving Palace one of Spains midfield youth darlings. Campana works well in a holding role, but can play further up the pitch as well, and enjoyed a good spell during Spain's U-20 World Cup run this summer. The club's big purchase, though, was Dwight Gale, bought from Peterborough for a fee reported to be a little more than £5 million. He scored 20 goals in all competitions last year (split between the Championship and League One), and Palace will be hoping that the 22 year old striker can help give their attack some extra teeth, be it from the bench as an impact sub, or as the main man should Murray falter.

Outlook: Palace is widely regarded as one of the favorites to go down at the end of the season, and it's hard to disagree with that assessment. They're still working on strengthening their roster with what's left in the transfer window, but there's a lot left to do for them to build a truly EPL-quality roster. The loss of Wilifred Zaha to Manchester United will especially hurt them in attack, as they haven't been able to secure anyone even near his quality for this season.

Liverpool Fixtures: Saturday October 5th (Anfield); Saturday May 3rd (Selhurt Park)

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