Palace kick off their 2018/19 Premier League campaign against newly-promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage, who returned to the top-flight after a four-year absence by winning the Championship play-off final against Aston Villa in May.
The game will see Roy Hodgson return to the club whom he guided to the UEFA Europa League final in 2010, and will be afforded a warm welcome by the home fans who haven’t tasted much success since his departure.
That all changed last year when they reached the Wembley showpiece by stringing together a 23-game unbeaten run to finish third, and skipper Tom Cairney’s goal clinched promotion at the Villans’ expense.
Having quietly gone about his business during pre-season, Hodgson will be hoping his Palace side, who remained unbeaten throughout the summer, will begin their campaign with a win over a team who conversely won just one of their six pre-season friendlies.
Summer reshuffle at the Cottage
A busy summer in west London began when the Cottagers broke their transfer record to land Jean Michael Seri from Nice for £30 million, who is tipped to be a star in both defensive and attacking midfield positions, while German World Cup winner Andre Schurrle returned to the Premier League as the ex-Chelsea man joined on loan from Borussia Dortmund.
Spanish goalkeeper Fabri arrived from Beskitas and is set to challenge Marcus Bettinelli, while Alfie Mawson was captured from Swansea City for £15 million. Nice were then raided again for left-back Maxime le Marchand, while Callum Chambers has moved from Arsenal on loan.
However, their key capture saw them pay Newcastle United a reported £22 million to land Aleksandar Mitrovic, who netted 12 goals for Fulham on loan in the latter part of last season to help fire the Whites back into the big time.
Deadline day was equally busy, with Spanish international goalkeeper Sergio Rico, Bristol City defender Joe Bryan, Luciano Vietto on loan from Atletico Madrid and Timothy Fosu-Mensah who could face the team he spent last season on loan on Saturday.
View From The Opposition
Slavisa Jokanovic: “I believe we need to be more solid. In the Premier League if we are not solid we are going to be in a dangerous situation. We will have the quality.
"Probably I miss some power, some kilograms to be stronger. We gave many chances to Celta Vigo to score goals [in their final pre-season friendly]. If we give Crystal Palace these chances, we will pay."
Palace: Roy Hodgson confirmed that Scott Dann is still recovering from his knee injury sustained on New Years' Eve, whilst Connor Wickham and Jonny Williams have slight strains so will not feature on Saturday. Given that Max Meyer's last competitive match was in April, and Jordan Ayew's last minute addition to the squad, the pair are also unlikely to be a part of the travelling squad.
Slavisa Jokanovic has made a number of summer signings including record buy Jean Michael Seri and Andre Schurrle.
Alfie Mawson is out until September after knee surgery, while Dennis Odoi completes the final game of his suspension.
Mike Dean gets his season underway in west London, with Palace having won their last three games he was overseen – home games against Stoke City and Leicester City and the trip to Huddersfield Town in March.
Dean has been a good omen for the Eagles during his refereeing career, with Palace winning eight and drawing 10 of the 24 games he has taken charge of, stretching back to the 2004/05 campaign.
Referee: Mike Dean
Assistant Refs: Ian Hussin and Dan Robathan
Fourth Official: Robert Jones
This will be the fifth Premier League meeting between Fulham and the Eagles, with the Cottagers losing just the first of those games in October 2004.
Each of the last three meetings between Fulham and Palace at Craven Cottage has seen exactly four goals scored.
Fulham have the lowest win rate in Premier League London derby matches, winning 25 of their 118 so far (21%).
Both of Palace’s opening day wins in the Premier League have come in away games (Everton in 1997/98 and Norwich in 2015/16).
The Eagles won their last three Premier League games of 2017/18, scoring nine goals and conceding just one. They last won four in a row back in April 2017.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s side are unbeaten in their previous 16 league games at Craven Cottage, keeping a clean sheet on 10 occasions in this run.
Palace are unbeaten in their last four away games, while only once previously have they gone five without defeat on the road under Roy Hodgson (in January 2018).
|Fulham wins||Draws||Palace wins|
Tickets for this game are sold out.
Coach travel will be available, departing Selhurst Park at 11.30am and is priced at £16 per seat.
If you can’t make it to Craven Cottage, then you can listen to the game live on our new Palace Audio service. Fans can buy a Season Pass for £39.99, a Monthly Pass (which auto-renews) at £4.49, or a 24-Hour Pass for a single matchday for £1.49 – more information.
There will also be updates on Twitter, and highlights available on Palace TV from midnight on Sunday morning.