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  • August 18, 2013
  • • 13:30
  • • Selhurst Park, London
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 23285
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Crystal Palace - Tottenham Preview: Eagles return to top-flight for first time in eight years

Crystal Palace - Tottenham Preview: Eagles return to top-flight for first time in eight years

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Ian Holloway's men find themselves up against history having been relegated from the Premier League four times out of a possible four, and they begin their campaign against Spurs

Crystal Palace's first Premier League match in eight years sees them face a tough test against Tottenham at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

Palace – who won promotion from the Championship via the play-off final last term – will battle history in their bid to avoid relegation this season.

Indeed, the club have featured in four Premier League seasons but have been relegated on each occasion.

Ian Holloway has made several additions to his squad, with striker Dwight Gayle, who arrived from Peterborough United for a fee in the region of £4.5 million, the headline arrival.

Midfielders Jose Campana - formerly of Sevilla - and Stephen Dobbie - signed from Brighton and Hove Albion - have also signed on, as has ex-Arsenal forward Marouane Chamakh, while Holloway raided former club Blackpool to sign Elliot Grandin and extend Kevin Phillips's stay for another year.

Defender Florian Marange also completed a switch to Selhurst Park on the eve of the new campaign, penning a one-year deal to bring to an end his long association with Ligue 1 outift Bordeaux.

Phillips, who scored the only goal in Palace's 1-0 play-off final win over Watford while on loan last season, is now 40, meaning that the burden of responsibility to lead the line week in, week out will likely fall to Gayle, Chamakh and Glenn Murray.

Murray scored 30 Championship goals last term but suffered a serious knee injury in the play-offs and is not expected to feature until the second half of the season.

Joining Murray on the sidelines is winger Yannick Bolasie (hamstring) while midfielder Jonathan Parr is a doubt due to an ankle problem.

Conversely, Tottenham have significantly strengthened this summer but they will be without Wales winger Gareth Bale, who is still suffering from a foot injury.

Bale – who has been the subject of a world record bid from Real Madrid – is keen to quit Tottenham and move to the Spanish capital.

Striker Roberto Soldado has joined from Valencia for £25.9 million, winger Nacer Chadli was recruited from Twente, while midfield pair Paulinho and Etienne Capoue arrived from Corinthians and Toulouse respectively, and could all play a part.

Heading the list of departures are attacker Clint Dempsey, who moved to Seattle Sounders, defender Steven Caulker, to Cardiff, and midfielder Tom Huddlestone, to Hull City, but Spurs will still feel confident of achieving a top-four finish.

Soldado scored 30 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions for Valencia last season and arrives at White Hart Lane with a big reputation.

Apart from Bale, Tottenham's only other significant injury worry is Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen (ankle).

The two sides have met just three times since the turn of the century, with the most recent fixture ending in a 3-0 win for Palace in January 2005.

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Last Five Matches
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Available Squads
1Julian SperoniGoalkeeper
2Joel WardDefender
19Danny GabbidonDefender
21Dean MoxeyDefender
27Damien DelaneyDefender
8Kagisho DikgacoiMidfielder
10Owen GarvanMidfielder
15Mile JedinakMidfielder
33Stephen Dobbie Striker
16Dwight GayleStriker
18Aaron WilbrahamStriker
25Neil AlexanderGoalkeeper
16CampañaDefender
23Florian MarangeDefender
22Stuart O'KeefeMidfielder
20Jonathan WilliamsMidfielder
9Kevin PhillipsStriker
29Marouane ChamakhStriker
25Hugo LlorisGoalkeeper
2Kyle WalkerDefender
3Danny RoseDefender
5Jan VertonghenDefender
5Michael DawsonDefender
7Aaron LennonMidfielder
8PaulinhoMidfielder
19Mousa DembéléMidfielder
21Nacer ChadliMidfielder
-Gylfi SigurdssonMidfielder
9Roberto SoldadoStriker
24Brad FriedelGoalkeeper
4Younes KaboulDefender
16Kyle NaughtonDefender
15Etienne CapoueMidfielder
17Andros TownsendMidfielder
46Thomas CarrollMidfielder
18Jermain DefoeStriker

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