Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur preview: The agony is back

Michael Regan

Another season, more agony.

The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. The human drama of athletic competition, this is Tottenham Hotspur, which means a heavy emphasis on the agony.

Tottenham have come up short of the Champions League in the last three seasons by a combined seven points. Not that you needed reminding, but seriously, only Spurs.

And nothing sums up Spurs like the way they have started their last two seasons -- zero points from their first two matches in 2011 and one point from their first two last year. Mixed in was rioting outside the ground. It's safe to say that the start of the season has not been kind to Tottenham.

This season doesn't figure to be much better, with Gareth BaleEmmanuel Adebayor and Lewis Holtby certainly out and Jan Vertonghen, Sandro and Benoit Assou-Ekotto doubtful. It's a recipe for more Spurs sadness to start the season.

But Tottenham play Crystal Palace. Ah yes, the Eagles, here to turn Spurs' frown upside down.

Glen Murray is out for Crystal Palace and Kenny Phillips needs a walker, which means the Eagles' goal-scoring load will fall on the shoulders of one man (drum roll please) ... Marouane Chamakh.

Seriously.

Crystal Palace may make a match of things with Mile Jedinak in a halfway decent midfield, but unless Chamakh exposes Tottenham's hospital bed-ridden central defense, Spurs should have no problem at Selhurst Park. And seriously, Chamakh.

With Sandro out, Paulinho will have to carry an unusually large defensive load, but it isn't something he can't do and Roberto Soldado will be up front, flanked by Nacer Chadli and Aaron Lennon.

Welcome back to the Premier League, Crystal Palace. I guess it could be worse than being tortured by Spurs.

Match date/time: Sunday, August 18; 8:30 a.m. ET, 1:30 p.m. GMT

Venue: Selhurst Park, London, England

TV: NBCSN (USA), Sky Sports 1 (UK), TSN (Canada), Fox Sports 1 (Australia)

Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)

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