Gary Cahill & Scott Dann

In Profile: Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace

Leicester City host Crystal Palace at King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon for the Foxes’ latest Premier League fixture (3pm kick-off).

The Foxes defeated the Eagles 2-0 at Selhurst Park in November, thanks to goals from Jamie Vardy and Çağlar Söyüncü.

Ahead of this weekend’s encounter, continues its series profiling City's opposition with a closer inspection of their 12th-placed visitors...

The manager

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Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson

Hodgson has taken charge of 16 different teams in eight countries across a managerial career spanning 44 years.

Veteran manager Roy Hodgson became Crystal Palace manager in September 2017, signing a two-year deal four games into the 2017/18 season, following the departure of Frank de Boer.

Joining with the side sitting bottom of the table, yet to score a single goal, he guided the Club to an 11th-placed finish and followed it up by recording Palace’s best-ever points total in a single Premier League campaign (49) in 2018-19. He signed a new contract in March 2020, to keep the 72-year-old at the Club until the end of 2020/21.

Hodgson actually started his playing career at Selhurst Park, coming through the ranks with the youth team, but failed to make a senior appearance before turning out for a host of Non-League sides including Tonbridge, Gravesend & Northfleet, Maidstone United and Ashford Town.

The former defender retired in 1976, leaving Carshalton Athletic to take charge of top-flight Swedish side Halmstads BK, having gained his coaching qualifications at the age of 23. In five seasons at the club, he won the Allsvenskan title twice, in 1976 and 1979, with the first achievement coming after surviving relegation on goal difference in the previous campaign.

A brief return to England in 1980 saw him become Bristol City assistant manager before taking charge himself in January 1982, only to be dismissed four months later. Three further spells at Swedish clubs followed, firstly at second-tier outfit IK Oddevold, who were relegated to the third division after Hodgson took over mid-way through the 1982 season.

A year later, he moved to Örebro SK, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Allsvenskan two seasons running, before leaving to take charge of Malmö FF in 1985. Hodgson presided over five consecutive league titles, two Swedish championships and two Swedish Cups during his time at Malmö. But arguably his greatest achievement came when the club knocked Italian champions Inter Milan out of the 1989/90 European Cup, winning the first round tie over two legs.

The Englishman moved on to Swiss side Neuchâtel Xamax in 1990, finishing third and then second in the league, in his two seasons in charge. In the 1991/92 UEFA Cup, Xamax beat Floriana and Celtic to set up a third round tie with Real Madrid and, despite winning the home leg 1–0, Hodgson’s side were knocked out following a 4–0 defeat at the Bernabéu.

He stayed in Switzerland to take control of the national team in 1992 and guided them to qualification for the 1994 FIFA World Cup - the first international tournament the country had qualified for since 1966. The Swiss finished as runners-up in their group before a 3-0 defeat to Spain in the last 16. 

Qualification for UEFA EURO 96 was secured with ease, as Switzerland rose to third in the FIFA World Rankings, and Hodgson subsequently left concentrate on his role at Inter Milan in November 1995, having been managing both for the previous two months.

Inter finished seventh at the end of Hodgson’s first season, qualifying for the UEFA Cup, having been bottom of Serie A prior to his appointment, followed by a third-placed finish in 1996/97. The club also reached the UEFA Cup Final that campaign, losing the two-legged tie against Schalke 04 on penalties.

Hodgson chose not to renew his contract at the Italian side, instead taking over at Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 1997. Hodgson guided the former Premier League champions to a sixth-placed finish and UEFA Cup qualification, winning Premier League Manager of the Month on two occasions. His second season in charge failed to repeat the successes of 1997/98 and Hodgson departed in November 1998, with Rovers bottom of the league.

In 1999, Hodgson returned to Inter, becoming technical director and then caretaker manager for a brief spell, before heading back to Switzerland to coach Grasshoppers, who he guided to a fourth-placed finish in the 1999/2000 Nationalliga A.

Hogdson took charge of Danish giants F.C. Copenhagen in 2000, winning the Superliga championship in 2000/01, the club's first championship in eight years, as well as lifting the 2001 Danish Supercup. Later that year, he moved to Serie A side Udinese, but was sacked in December, despite being in the quarter-finals of the Copa Italia and sitting ninth in Serie A.

An unsuccessful two years in charge of the United Arab Emirates was followed by a spell at Norwegian club Viking, who finished ninth and then fifth under his leadership, and also qualified for the UEFA Cup. Hodgson resigned in December 2005 to become Finland’s national team manager.

After narrowly failing to qualify for EURO 2008, Hodgson did not renew his contract at Finland and instead took over at Premier League side Fulham, in December 2007. He saved the club from relegation on the final day of the season, having been two points adrift when he took over.

The 2008/09 campaign saw the Cottagers finish seventh and qualify for the UEFA Europa League. Hodgson guided Fulham to their first-ever major European final in 2010, losing 2-1 to Atlético Madrid after extra-time. After a 12th-placed league finish, Hodgson agreed to become the new Liverpool manager in July 2010, but was only in charge for six months.

A month later, Hodgson was back in work with West Bromwich Albion, who he guided to 11th finish in the 2010/11 Premier League season, their highest league finish for 30 years. After another impressive campaign, with the Baggies finishing 10th, Hodgson was appointed as England manager, on a four-year contract.

In his first major tournament in charge, Hodgson’s side reached the quarter-finals of EURO 2012, before Italy knocked the Three Lions out on penalties. However, in 2014, England were eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage for the first time since 1958, following defeats to Italy and Uruguay.

Hodgson remained in post and England qualified for EURO 2016 having won all 10 matches, but headed out of the tournament in the last 16, beaten 2-1 by Iceland. His contract ended following the tournament and, two months later, he became the new Palace manager. Hodgson has now managed 16 different teams in eight countries.

The squad

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Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha is considered one of Crystal Palace's biggest attacking threats and has scored three times so far this season.

Ivorian winger Wilfred Zaha is among the most potent threats at Roy Hodgson’s disposal, having scored three goals and assisted three more this season. Zaha is also the only Palace player to feature in every Premier League game so far in 2019/20.

In the summer of 2019, the Eagles made several high-profile signings, including defender Gary Cahill from Chelsea, as well as Everton duo James McCarthy and Cenk Tosun. Victor Camarasa also joined the club from Real Betis, as did ex-Swansea City forward Jordan Ayew, who signed on a permanent deal following a successful loan spell. Ayew is currently topping the scoring charts on nine goals in 2019/20.

Palace sit 12th in the Premier League, on 42 points, having won their first game after the restart, away at AFC Bournemouth. Their most recent starting XI, in a 1-0 home defeat against Burnley, was: Guaita; Ward, Dann, Cahill, van Aanholt; McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyaté; Townsend, Zaha Ayew. 

The trophy cabinet

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Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace

The Eagles were promoted to the Premier League via the play-offs in 2013.

The Eagles have twice won England’s second tier, in 1979 and 1994, while finishing runners-ups in 1969. They have also been promoted to the top flight via the play-offs on four occasions 1989, 1997, 2004 and 2013, narrowly missing out in 1996 - against Leicester City.

Their trophy cabinet also holds a third tier title from 1921, a division they have finished runners-ups in four times, with the most recent of those promotions coming in 1964. Palace were second in the fourth tier in 1961, but have never won the division.

The south Londoners reached the FA Cup Final in both 1990 and 2016, but lost out on both occasions. Their most recent cup success came in the 1991 Full Members’ Cup.

The stadium

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Selhurst Park
Selhurst Park

Selhurst Park, opened in 1924, currently has a capacity of 25,456.

Selhurst Park has been Crystal Palace’s home since its opening in 1924 and currently has a capacity of just over 25,000 and opened during a 0-0 draw between Palace and Sheffield Wednesday.

The stadium’s record attendance came during 1979, when 51,801 turned out for Palace’s 2–0 win over Burnley, which sealed the Second Division title. The ground holds the fourth tier record attendance from when Palace hosted Millwall in 1961, in front of 37,774 fans.

Selhurst Park also staged an international match between England and Wales in 1926, while it also hosted two games as part of the 1948 Sumer Olympics.

The stadium was shared with south London neighbours Charlton Athletic from 1985 until 1991 and by Wimbledon from 1991 until 2003. Just 3,039 saw Wimbledon’s game against Everton at Selhurst Park in January 1993 - the Premier League’s lowest-ever attendance.

The fixtures

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Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace

Palace are back at Selhurst Park for the visit of London rivals Chelsea on Tuesday 7 July.

Following Saturday's trip to Leicester, Palace host London rivals Chelsea on Tuesday 7 July (6pm kick-off) and then travel to face Aston Villa on Sunday 12 July (2:15pm kick-off). After that, it's Manchester United (H), Wolverhampton Wanderers (A), before completing the season with a home game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday 26 July (3pm kick-off).

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