Are Palace's strikers finally flickering into life?

Odsonne Edouard celebrates with Jean-Philippe Mateta and Joel Ward
Odsonne Edouard celebrates with Jean-Philippe Mateta and Joel Ward

Joe Bradshaw, BBC Sport

Seven goals in two games was a handy way to send Roy Hodgson’s side into the international break.

Sure, the firepower came against Championship side Plymouth and a Premier League team expected to struggle in Wolves but what was particularly encouraging was the identity of the scorers.

Both Jean-Philippe Mateta and Odsonne Edouard have yet to convince up front for Crystal Palace. The very fact Mateta was back on the bench after scoring a hat-trick in the Carabao Cup indicates this; however, it was refreshing to finally see the names of Palace strikers on the scoresheet.

This is the 11th season since Glenn Murray hammered 30 goals in the Championship and since then, only Christian Benteke (with 15) has managed to even get half of that in a Palace shirt.

Many have tried to fill the void up front, but Benteke’s story (a club-record £27m signing from Liverpool in 2016) is typical, 37 goals in 177 games not doing the business at Selhurst Park.

Since Murray, Palace fans have endured the misfiring exploits of Dwight Gayle, Marouane Chamakh, Yaya Sanogo, Patrick Bamford, Connor Wickham, Loic Remy, Alexander Sorloth, Michy Batshuayi and Cenk Tosun among others.

It has been rough for the current incumbents too - Mateta has only managed 13 goals in his 70 appearances for the club, and Edouard, after a barnstorming double on his debut against Spurs two years ago, has a marginally better record of 17 in 73 for the club.

Palace failed to secure a striker in the summer so are stuck with these two until at least January. But the signs of life are at least promising as Mateta backed up his hat-trick with two assists from the bench on Sunday.

Roy Hodgson’s team is full of youthful talent, and Mateta (26) and Edouard (25) are both coming into their prime, the latter’s three goals to start the season placing him fourth in the early Premier League top scorers chart.

Behind them, Eberechi Eze has already created 13 chances this season. He will provide the supply line and, if the goal tallies of these two together could even get close to Murray’s total from 2012-13, that would surely go down as a successful campaign.