Crystal Palace fixtures for 2020/21 Premier League season start against Southampton

Written by FYP Fanzine

Crystal Palace's fixtures for the 2020/21 Premier League season have been released and they start against Manchester City. Thanks, fixture computer! 

The new top flight season kicks off on Saturday September 12th having been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic that means the previous season was postponed for three months. Crazy times we live in.

The new season was supposed to already be underway - with a planned start date of August 8th - but we are still three weeks away from competitive football. The 20/21 season will end on Sunday May 23rd meaning there is less time to cram in the usual amount of fixtures. 

And 19 days after that...Euro2020 will kick off, a whole year late.

Currently fans are still not allowed back to attend games meaning the 20/21 season kicks off in empty stadiums as the 19/20 season did when it resumed in July. The are reports fans will be allowed back in to watch games in October in seriously reduced capacity. What that means for Palace fans is still unknown.

Some rule changes for the 20/21 season: matches will go back to three substitues and seven on the bench allowed after the Premier League upped it to five subs and nine on the bench during Project Restart. Clubs voted against keeping that rule going into the new season meaning we're going back to the way it wa which is a blessing as the five sub rule really did favour the bigger teams with bigger squads.

Also referees will use the VAR screens more this coming season, going over to them for subjective decisions like goals, red cards and penalties. Another sensible decision shocker. 

Full run down of Palace's 20/21 fixtures below...

September

Saturday, 12th: Southampton (H)

Saturday, 19th: Manchester United (A)

Saturday, 26th: Everton (H)

October

Saturday, 3rd: Chelsea (A)

Saturday, 17th: Brighton & Hove Albion (H)

Saturday, 24th: Fulham (A)

Saturday, 31st: Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)

November

Saturday, 7th: Leeds United (H)

Saturday, 21st: Burnley (A)

Saturday, 28th: Newcastle United (H)

December

Saturday, 5th: West Bromwich Albion (A)

Saturday, 12th: Tottenham Hotspur (H)

Tuesday, 15th: West Ham United (A)

Saturday, 19th: Liverpool (H)

Saturday, 26th: Aston Villa (A)

Monday, 28th: Leicester City (H)

January

Saturday, 2nd: Sheffield United (H)

Tuesday, 12th: Arsenal (A)

Saturday, 16th: Manchester City (A)

8pm, Wednesday, 27th: West Ham United (H)

Saturday, 30th: Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)

February

Wednesday, 3rd: Newcastle United (A)

Saturday, 6th: Leeds United (A)

Saturday, 13th: Burnley (H)

Saturday, 20th: Brighton & Hove Albion (A)

Saturday, 27th: Fulham (H)

March

Saturday, 6th: Tottenham Hotspur (A)

Saturday, 13th: West Bromwich Albion (H)

Saturday, 20th: Manchester United (H)

April

Saturday, 3rd: Everton (A)

Saturday, 10th: Chelsea (H)

Saturday, 17th: Southampton (A)

Saturday, 24th: Leicester City (A)

May

Saturday, 1st: Manchester City (H)

Saturday, 8th: Sheffield United (A)

8pm, Wednesday, 12th: Aston Villa (H)

Saturday, 15th: Arsenal (H)

Sunday, 23rd: Liverpool (A)


 

What If...Frank de Boer hadn't been sacked? We simulated on Football Manager to see...

Written by Matt Buckland
After simulating on Football Manager the rest of this season before it returned and if Palace had won the 2016 FA Cup, Matt Buckland is back with another. This time; what is Frank de Boer hadn't been sacked after four games?

Over to Matt...

I added his backroom staff and kept the squad exactly how it was when the season started.

The goal of this experiment was to see how things would’ve gone if Frank had been given more time. Sadly, I was not able to start the experiment after the real life 1-0 loss to Burnley that sealed Frank’s fate in real life so I ran this experiment from 14th August 2017, the 1st game of the season at home to Huddersfield *Shudders at the memory of that game…*

Anyway, here we go!

August

Decent start to the season with 4 points in the 1st 3 league games but a 1-1 draw with Fulham led to penalties which we unfortunately lost. Who cares right? it’s only a winnable trophy… 🤭

September

Not a good month with only 1 goal scored (Benteke vs Man City)

October

No defeats which is promising but a lack of firepower meant that the dropped points in winnable games away to Newcastle and home to West Ham.

November

November brought the 1st win since the opening day of the season with a 2-1 victory at home to Stoke. A Benteke double sealing the points.

December

The busy December calendar provided some entertaining games but with only a 2-0 win at Watford (goals from Cabaye & Loftus-Cheek) to speak of, the half way point of the season was slightly concerning.

The 2-2 draw away to Swansea brought up the mid point of the season and it wasn’t the best of starts for Palace. 3 points clear of the relegation zone so close enough for Frank to be looking over his shoulder…

The December ended with a great win at home to Man City (Benteke & Wilf) . This also meant that Palace had scored in each of the last 10 league games. Whilst the results weren’t great, could this this be a sign of exciting things to come? Could we “turn a corner”? We shall see...

January

The transfer window arrived with Frank wanted to shake things up in the squad and he got his wish with a net spend of -£5m.

Ins

Outs

On the pitch, results took a turn with no wins piling the pressure on Frank. Only the FA Cup was keeping him in a job at this point. Sounds familiar...

February

This month would be critical for both Frank and Palace. Wins were needed to stave off relegation worries and the new signings needed gel quickly to improve Palace’s fortunes. The next to games would be crucial…

Sadly (for Frank) the loss to Everton dropped Palace into the relegation zone in Everton’s place and enough was enough for Parish. Frank De Boer was sacked just after the defeat. Literally. At 5:52pm.

Dougie took temporary charge (shocker) whilst Parish looked for his successor. A massive 3-0 (King, Sakho & Luka with the goals) home win against Spurs was a needed boost and the FA Cup wins kept coming (albeit through a replay).

March

Dougie would have one more game in charge before Parish was to name the next Palace manager. A decent 1-1 draw with Man Utd.

On 5th March, Crystal Palace announced their new manager; Andre Villas-Boas. Dougie went back to his “Sporting Director” role (whatever that actually is).

Villas-Boas took over with Palace in 17th place with 9 games to play.

However, losses to Huddersfield and Middlesbrough meant that Palace ended March in the relegation zone and out of the FA Cup.

April

Make or break time is here. 2 big results away to Bournemouth and home to B******n gave Palace a platform to build on. Unfortunately, defeats to Watford and Leicester damaged said platform. Palace ended the month 1 point above Swansea in 18th. With 2 games to play, safety is still in their hands.

 

May

The final 2 games of the seasons and it’s crunch time. The task is simple. Win against Stoke and West Brom and Palace are safe.

Can Villas Boas do it? Can he save them so they can put the De Boer mistake behind them and stay in the Premier League to learn from their error?

Well…

 

 

The defeat to Stoke and a win for Swansea meant that Palace dropped to 18th place and into the relegation zone with 1 game remaining and 2 points from safety. Palace had a better goal difference than Swansea however so a draw for Swansea and a win for Palace on the final day of the season would mean that Palace stay up.

The final game…

… and Palace fell short. This meant that relegation was confirmed. The final table looked as it does below:

Even with Benteke grabbing an impressive 18 league goals, Palace could not be saved.

So, there you have it.

Had we stuck with De Boer, we would’ve had a massively disappointing season for Palace and gamble would've failed to pay off. But, thank our lucky starts that this didn’t happen and we went on to record a solid mid table finish in real life!

The next experiment… AFC Crystal Palace. 


 

If You're Into Crystal Palace Stories You Need To Buy This Book

Written by Cris Lehmann
One More Point was the fanzine that inspired FYP and now its creator, Cris Lehmann, has written a book about the scrapes and adventures of making and selling a Crystal Palace fanzine in the early 90s. We'll let him explain...

When I finished wrting One More Point in 2003, it was the right time to end it. It had had a great ten year run with 60 issues produced and, as a guy who likes even numbers, it just felt like 60 was a good total to end on and I just needed a break. The plan was always to write a book. There were various things that never got said due to timings with issues, most notably the tumultuous period between Issue 9 (April 1995) and Issue 10 (August 1995). Sometimes great stories got missed.

Plus there was always the stuff that most folks were unaware of - the actual producing of a fanzine and all the side stories and issues that came with the territory. There was no internet to download player pics whenever you wanted one - if you wanted a picture of Dean Gordon or Chris Armstrong, you needed to make sure you had your scissors to hand and cut them out of the Advertiser or whichever paper had a decent (ideally clear) photo. You wanted a logo? You'd better know someone who was good with a felt tip pen...unless you were One More Point with the very unusual way that mag created its first logo (see Chapter 5 for the tale of how Spurs and St Mirren helped a Palace fanzine get its name and logo)!

For various reasons, other than the most rare fanzine of them all - the limited edition, 150 copies of Eagle Aye that I made for Sheffield United away in 2004 - that break from writing about Palace just grew and grew.

That said, by leaving a large gap, the nature of the book has a different complexion than if it had been written in 2005. It's scary to think that people aged 30 won't even remember OMP - that makes me feel really old. That's partly why I make references to the way things have changed. Younger folk I speak to have no experience of the promoted teams coming up and making a run at the title straight away - Chelsea, Forest, Newcastle, Leeds, Blackburn and even Sheffield Wednesday all flourished straight after promotion between 1989-95.

Wolves qualifying for the Europa League last year was decent but was deemed something out of the ordinary - in the early 90s it was pretty much guaranteed one team would be finishing in the Top 3 or 4. Those days are now gone, which is a shame. That said, this book's not about slating modern football, but there to act as a memory jogger for fans aged 40+ and maybe something more educational/historical for younger folks wanting to learn about an era that's not so long ago but nevertheless where standing was still the preferred option for many fans, you could only get scores of other games via the half time scoreboard and you could just about get three pints for under a fiver (well, at an away game up north anyway, you'd need to go back to just before the OMP years for that to apply to SE25).

The book was initially planned back in 2015 to try and be the 'Fever Pitch' of fanzines but I reached a point after those early introductory chapters regarding the fanzine scene (especially Eagle Eye) where once the flow of the story begins with the day OMP started and that 1-0 win on a rainy v Sunderland, I knew this had to be a book that was 99% Palace - the other 1% involves references to Michael Jackson (yes, THAT one) ruining a night out for me, Richie Richardson (the West Indies cricketer) being converted to Palace, and even Pingu makes a brief appearance. I admit, this isn't your usual football fan book!

This isn't just the OMP story but very much the 'Crystal Palace story' for the mid-nineties from on the pitch dramas (of which there were plenty), to off the pitch strife (of which there was plenty) and, of course what was going on in the pages of One More Point with a healthy helping of Eagle Eye, Eastern Eagles and then Palace Echo which took over the gap left by Eagle Eye.

It's also an accurate account of what went in those years. The Cantona kung fu kick has been written about so many times over the years and yet when I researched the newspapers and tape recordings (yes, I still have old school cassettes) I still have from that week and rewatched the match, there are a lot of things that have been glossed over or remembered/ reported incorrectly. What was being printed and written the day after that night was very different to what was being written even just a couple of days later. I was surprised by a couple of things myself about the night and how its easy to form an incorrect version of events.

Yes, this book is biased towards Palace (hey, we are the greatest team the world has ever seen after all) but it tells it like it was back. Palace beat Grimsby 5-0 once and got outsung by 10 Grimsby fans for large parts of the second half. With the stability under Steve Parish in modern times, it's easy to forget that there was a lot of unrest around 1995-96 and people shouting 'Noades Out'. It was a real 50/50 split back amongst supporters back then. There is an amazing exchange with Uncle Ron near the end of the book where he fronted up to supporters who were giving it 'Noades Out' when they had no clue he was in earshot. Most folks won't even know that story - it's a pretty good couple of pages even if I say so myself.

For five years the working title of the book was 'Is That The Programme?' but the intention was to get a 'proper' name once the book neared completion. The thing was, when I spoke to OMP's old sellers or other fanzine editors (including other clubs, not just Palace) they all said my 'draft' title was in fact the perfect title for the book. No matter how many times I bellowed 'One More Point, one paaaahhhhnd your Palace fanzine!' I'd still get 10-20 people every single game asking 'Is That The Programme?' despite being stood barely ten yards from Sideburns in his orange vest and a programme stand in front of him.

Finally, I got lucky with the cover picture. I was wondering what I could do for the cover - it's not like old days when I could just glue a joke on the cover - things have moved on in that respect! I didn't know Paul Wright had taken that one (although I remember he took a lot of fan photos back in those days) but was very grateful when that came into my possession The day that was taken was Watford away in 1999 and I was selling the rather blunt 'Goldberg Out' issue....which was just a little bit awkward when I was shouting '£1 your Goldberg Out Edition' just as Mark Goldberg himself walked sheepishly up to the ground with his wife and daughter. (Out of respect I did shut up for a minute given his daughter was there - it was nothing personal but the guy was killing our club)!

It wasn't the last time we met at close quarters either - a week later I was dressed as The Grim Reaper leading 2000 Palace fans in a protest march to hand him a petition of over 5000 fans' signatures demanding he resign as Chairman before Palace were sunk without trace. But you'll have to wait for the second book for that particular story.

Is That The Programme?: Honest Tales From a Crystal Palace Fanzine Editor is available at Amazon in Kindle (£4.99) and papaerback (£9.99) versions now.

 


What If...Palace had won the FA Cup in 2016? We simulated it to see

Written by Matt Buckland
Our simulation king Matt Buckland is back to play out another scenario, this time what if Palace had won the 2016 FA Cup?

Last week we mentioned on the podcast that one of our Patreons, Matt Buckland, had played out the rest of this season on Football Manager 2020 to see what would happen, and these are the results.

He's back this week with another simualted scenario and it's a big one; what if Palace had won the FA Cup final in 2016? A game we were just 11 minutes from winning of course, and there are some great quotes from goalscorer Jason Puncheon here on that.

Anyway, over to Matt...

Winning the FA Cup in 2016 meant that West Ham missed out on the Europa League for 16/17. What a shame. Man Utd still qualified as they finished in 5th.

We entered the Europa League at the Qualifying stage and that's where our experiment starts. It may not have been totally accurate, but it's the easiest way to get the experiment working.

Squad

I kept the squad together from the FA Cup final except Yannick Bolasie’s move to Everton (mainly because I forgot). However, this meant that we used the money to sign Andros, Benteke and Tomkins and kept it as believable as possible.

Here’s the squad list that we started the season with. Julian Speroni is still at the club, but in the U23’s for some reason…

Transfers

IN: Juan Manuel Vargas (LB) - Free
OUT: None

I went month by month and captured the important games. Here’s the fixture list for the first couple of months:

July Key Results

August Key Results

After these victories, we progressed to the group stages of the Europa League. Our group was below:

September Key Results

October Key Results

This also brought up the 10 game mark for the Premier League. The table is as below:

Not looking good…

November Key Result

Note the young German scoring against us...

December Key Result

This win vs Saint Etienne meant we finished 2nd in the group and qualified for the Knockout stages:

Half way stage of the season

20 games into the season proved a mixed bag. Results and table at this stage are below

 

 January Key Results

 

 

End of the January transfer window:

 

February Key Results

 

 

 

March Key Result

April Key Results

May Key Result

 End of Season

Premier League:

FA Cup:

Europa League:

So a mid-table finish, a run to the Europa League knockouts but more importantly, ANOTHER FA CUP WIN! TWO IN A ROW, BABY!

What scenarios do you want to see Matt simulate next?