Date: 12th September 2015 at 1:47am
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With the international break over and club football fans eagerly awaiting the return of their favourite players, Palace fans feel that excitement more than most.

After finishing before the break on a high at Stamford Bridge, some fans were a little concerned about the internationals interrupting that good form and run of play, whilst others believed it would only benefit the club further.

Many Palace players continue to find themselves overlooked for international duty and whilst that is a disappointment for them and leaves many feeling bewildered, it does mean that the club remains relatively strong. Whilst a couple of injuries in training have been mentioned and a few players out on international duty may be tired from the travelling, Palace has a distinct advantage compared to their weekend rivals Manchester City.

1 August 2015 - Pre-Season Friendly - Fulham v Crystal Palace - Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Wilfried Zaha is just one player who’s enjoyed an impressive start to the season.

Fans are still at a stage where being positive about their standing in the league seems a bit risky and many are reserved about the club’s chances of remaining in such a high position throughout the rest of the season. But with so many injuries emerging in City’s squad there is that glimmer of hope many could not even dream of five years ago.

With applause and appreciation starting to roll in for the club from pundits and other footballing professionals, a shock might be on the cards. Since Palace’s promotion to the Premier League, many fans decided each year relegation was a distinct possibility and, at times, supporters would have strongly agreed with them too (like the time Pulis walked out just days before the season started and left the club with Neil Warnock standing on the touchline looking bewildered).

And nobody can really claim they thought Palace would be second in the league at this stage. Bookies, even just a week before the game against Chelsea, had Palace at 3000/1 to win the league. TV deals never thought to schedule in Palace v Manchester City because the idea of it being a top-table clash felt like an incredibly unlikely situation.

Everybody at Selhurst Park was discussing their hopes of finishing in a European spot by the end of the league and they all acknowledged it would be tough but possible. Bolder fans braved the suggestion they would want a Champions League spot, but even then those suggestions were said in hushed, jokey tones.

Palace fans and people at the club are starting to believe and if they can manage to pull a win out the bag this weekend then they might just be right to do so.

 
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