Picking the Best Potential Crystal Palace Lineup to Face Fulham on Saturday's Premier League Return

Crystal Palace return to Premier League action against Fulham, with the fixture coincidentally being the last top flight game involving the Cottagers before their relegation four years ago. 


Roy Hodgson will go into the game with largely the same players with who he ended the last campaign with, as only a few new faces have arrived through the door. 


Fulham, on the other hand, have been extremely busy, spending over £70m on new faces to bolster their squad. 


Let's take a look at the most likely lineup that the Eagles could deploy against the Championship play off winners:

1. Goalkeeper & Defence

New signing Vicente Guaita should start in goal for the Eagles, having started the club's most recent friendly against Toulouse at the expense of Wayne Hennessey. 


In front of him, academy prospect Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who excelled in the second half of last season after being thrust into the first team, will be given his chance to make the right-back role his own. 


In the heart of defence, the formidable duo of James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho, who are yet to be on the losing side together, will line up alongside each other once more. 


At left-back, Patrick van Aanholt will start the game. The Dutchman ended the 2017/18 campaign in fine goalscoring form, and has emerged as one of the Eagles' key men. 


                                                                       Guaita


Wan-Bissaka                          Tomkins                                   Sakho                     van Aanholt

2. Midfielders

Ahead of the back four, Roy Hodgson is expected to line up with two central midfielders in his favoured 4-2-2-2 formation. Luka Milivojevic, who represented Serbia at the World Cup this summer, is back and ready to play having played against Toulouse last week. 


Next to the former Olympiacos man, Scottish international James McArthur will start the game. The former Wigan man is close to signing a new deal at Selhurst Park, and rightly so given his importance to the side.


Ahead of the aforementioned pair, Andros Townsend and Jeffrey Schlupp are expected to start on the wings for the Eagles. The duo's defensive diligence and discipline provides the team with an excellent balance. 


                                               Milivojevic                            McArthur


Townsend                                                                                                                       Schlupp

3. Forwards

The biggest result of Palace's summer transfer window has undoubtedly been the fact that Wilfried Zaha remains at the club. The Ivorian is the Eagles' talisman, the player that makes them tick; the fact that Palace failed to pick up a single point without him last season speaks volumes. 


Alongside him, Belgian forward Christian Benteke, who disappointingly notched just three goals last term having hit 17 the season before, is fresh and ready to go having sat out his country's World Cup campaign. 


                                                Zaha                                   Benteke