Three London derbies in the first eight games are just part of a tough opening few weeks of the 2014-2015 Premier League season for Crystal Palace.
The new season’s fixtures have been announced today, and Tony Pulis’s great survivors have been handed a trip to The Emirates against Arsenal on the opening weekend (the game is formally scheduled for Saturday August 16, though this may be subject to television demands), while welcoming West Ham to Selhurst Park the following week.
The opening forays of post-World Cup seasons are notoriously difficult to predict. The big-money sides may have had their international players back for only a brief pre-season, while other clubs will still be “bedding-in” some of their megastar summer signings. Nonetheless, taking on Arsene Wenger’s FA Cup-winners at home is unlikely to be the easiest opening game for Palace.
Not until September, when newly promoted Burnley and Leicester come to south London, do Palace have what might be regarded as “easier” games (cue Rio “Banal” Ferdinand to interject, “There’s no easy games in this league, Ron”).
Other red-letter dates on any Eagles season ticket-holders’ smart phone are likely to be October 18, when Palace are home to Chelsea; November 22 when Liverpool are the visitors just a week after Palace have played Manchester United at Old Trafford; February 21 for the home game against Arsenal; and March 14 when there’s the derby against Harry Redknapp’s promoted QPR.
All fixtures are subject to change depending on the whims of television schedulers and cup commitments, but it looks as if manager Pulis will want to ensure his side has accumulated plenty of points before a desperately tough-looking run-in at the season’s-end: champions Manchester City visit Selhurst on April 4; Palace play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on May 2 (so start saving up now); before playing at home to Manchester United on May 9 and travelling to Liverpool on May 16.
Coming to Croydon
- Norwood Society Talk: The Concrete Church, June 19
- David Lean Cinema: Suzanne, June 19
- Fit 2 Learn seminar, June 20
- Airport House swing dance free event, June 21
- Classic Car Show at Purley Rotary Fields, June 22
- David Lean Cinema: Feet from Stardom, June 23
- Crystal Palace Overground Festival, June 26-29
- David Lean Cinema: The Lunchbox, June 26
- Warnings to the Curious, Spread Eagle Theatre, June 27
- Metamono Secrets of Nature, Upper Norwood, June 27
- St Peter’s Village Fayre, South Croydon, June 28
- South Norwood Allotments open day, June 28
- Fragile, Spread Eagle Theatre, July 24-26
- Coast to Capital business briefing, July 4
- CODA’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wandle Park, Jul 30-Aug 2
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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