Whilst there is more than a degree of unease regarding Vincent Tan's methods (notably the changing of the club's kit colour and badge), Cardiff fans will now be feverishly excited about the start of their first Premier League season. Having won the Championship at something of a canter (being able to draw seven of their last league games) it would appear the Welsh club are the best placed of the three promoted clubs to survive. But this is still a huge step up for a number of their squad.
Ian Holloway's return to Premier League football comes just two years after suffering relegation with Blackpool and he will be looking to prove himself and consolidate Palace's status in the top flight this season. When his side's promotion charge appeared to be derailing at times last season, Holloway's know-how proved to be invaluable in keeping them on track, and his top-flight experience could give the Eagles an upper-hand over some of their relegation rivals.
Ins and Outs
- Dwight Gayle - £8.5m
- Jose Campana - £1.75m
- Jerome Thomas - Free
- Alex Marrow - Undisc
- Jermaine Easter - Free
- Andre Moritz - Free
One of Palace's biggest dangermen last season but found himself often used off the bench towards the end of the campaign. Zaha's exit means he needs to step up.
A key part of Palace's promotion-winning campaign and demonstrated his natural leadership qualities throughout last season. His experience could be key.
Part of the Palace side relegated from the Premier League in 2005 but has since gone on to establish himself as one of the most reliable goalkeepers outside of the top-flight.
Strengths & weaknesses
Holloway's attacking outlook often left Palace looking vulnerable at the back last season and, as a result, they conceded the highest amount of goals of any top-six team. With no new faces defensively, this could well be something exploited by some of the Premier League's big guns, although the likes of Jedinak and Kagisho Dikgacoi can offer protection in front of the back four. One thing Palace do boast is pace and with the likes of Gayle, Thomas, Bolasie and Jonathan Williams, they are capable of causing problems and they could prove difficult to deal with.
The capture of Gayle certainly turned a few heads, suggesting that Palace would spend big this summer. But it is fair to say their dealings since have been pretty underwhelming. Thomas offers proven Premier League quality and Dobbie brings a wealth of experience having made his loan move permanent. But it is highly unlikely that Holloway is finished in the transfer market, despite also bringing in the likes of Marouane Chamakh and Neil Alexander.
"We have got to try and give the lads a chance to feel good about themselves when, in a couple of weeks' time, they are going to start in the toughest division in the world."
"I just can't wait for it to get started and get a few games under my belt. It's just a dream come true, really. I'm most excited about playing against big players, seeing what I can achieve and playing against Manchester United."
Facts and Figures
Glenn Murray scored more goals than any other player in the 2012/13 Championship
Number of penalties won by Palace in the Championship last season
Excluding the play-offs, no top-11 side conceded more goals than Palace
It is very difficult for any side that comes up and Palace have not spent as much money as Cardiff and Hull have done and have not brought as many players in as those clubs. They came up through the play-offs, which is a nice way to come up, but they did not have a great run towards the end of last season and in the end they only just snuck into those play-offs. But the euphoria and enthusiasm that comes with coming up through a Wembley final could be taken into the season. It will be difficult for them, though.