Crystal Palace extended their brilliant away form on Sunday with a 1-0 win at Watford.
In 15 away games this year, the Eagles have now won 11, drawn one and lost just three, while winning nine out their last 12 on the road in the Premier League.
Here, we look at three key factors behind Palace’s away success.
Palace boast the fastest attack in the league. Yannick Bolasie, Bakary Sako, Jason Puncheon, Dwight Gayle, Fraizer Campbell and Wilfried Zaha can all scare defenders with their raw pace, which is a deadly weapon on the counter-attack. At least one of these speed merchants often comes off the bench too and that can prove a nightmare for tired opponents in the latter stages.
The shut-out at Vicarage Road was Palace’s first clean sheet this season but their defence is far from leaky. They have only once conceded two goals in their nine matches so far, which have included tough fixtures against Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham. Home teams grow frustrated and over-exert going forward, leaving space for Palace to counter-attack. Scott Dann has also been superb in central defence.
There was a time when Palace would take a draw in just about any away fixture but no longer. Alan Pardew has transformed the club’s ambitions from simply avoiding relegation to perhaps even challenging for Europe. Wins this year against Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea mean no challenge is now considered too big for the Eagles and a top eight-finish is certainly not out of reach.