Crystal Palace's first Premier League match in eight years sees the club face a tough test against Tottenham at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
Palace – who won promotion from the Championship via the playoff final last term – will battle history in their bid to avoid relegation this season, as the club has featured in four Premier League seasons but been relegated on each occasion.
Ian Holloway's side has struggled to make significant additions to its squad in the offseason, with striker Dwight Gayle, who arrived from Peterborough United for a fee in the region of 4.5 million pounds, the headline arrival, while star winger Wilfried Zaha made his way to Manchester United.
Midfielders Jose Campana - formerly of Sevilla - and Stephen Dobbie - signed from Brighton and Hove Albion - joined Palace following promotion, as did ex-Arsenal forward Marouane Chamakh. Holloway raided former club Blackpool to sign veteran Kevin Phillips permanently, along with Elliot Grandin.
Phillips, who scored the only goal in Palace's 1-0 playoff 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 season but suffered a serious knee injury in the playoffs 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 has significantly strengthened this summer but Spurs will be without Wales winger Gareth Bale, who is still suffering from an apparent foot injury.
Bale, who has been the subject of a reported world record bid from Real Madrid, is thought to be keen to quit Tottenham and move to the Spanish capital.
Striker Roberto Soldado (Valencia), winger Nacer Chadli (Twente) and midfield pair Paulinho (Corinthians) and Etienne Capoue (Toulouse) have all arrived at White Hart Lane, while there have also been several departures.
Heading that list are U.S. captain and attacker Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), defender Steven Caulker (Cardiff) and midfielder Tom Huddlestone (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 to Palace in January 2005.
- Sports & Recreation
- Dwight Gayle
- Ian Holloway
- Glenn Murray
- Marouane Chamakh