Is former Crystal Palace outcast behind Zaha’s return to form?

Glenn Murray has been instrumental in Wilfried Zaha’s return to form.

It was Murray and Zaha that led Palace to the Premier League in the 2012/13 season, with the duo scoring and assisting the majority of the goals the Eagles mustered.

However, following promotion, Zaha went off to join Manchester United and Murray missed the start of the top-flight season due to the long-term injury he suffered towards the end of the previous campaign.

The result was that, when he returned from injury, there was no way back into the side for him. Marouane Chamakh and Dwight Gayle were defined as first-choice forwards and Murray managed to make just 14 Premier League appearances last term, scoring one goal.

This season he once again started outside of the first-team and headed out on loan to Championship side Reading, with whom he scored eight goals in 18 games. Following Alan Pardew’s appointment as Eagles head coach, Murray was recalled to Palace and has been a consistent fixture back in the first-team squad. He has made nine league appearances so far and has netted four goals in the last few weeks.

Murray’s return to goalscoring form has coincided with Wilfried Zaha proving himself to be back on top of his game after completing a homecoming to Selhurst Park from United. After joining the Eagles on loan at the beginning of the campaign, he signed on a permanent deal in January, and it appears as if the striker is having a key impact on the 22-year-old winger's return to form.

Such different players in terms of style, Zaha and Murray seemingly complement each other perfectly and they know exactly how to play to their own strengths, as well as each others.

The 2-1 victory over Stoke, in which both scored, showed the kind of partnership that led Palace up to the top flight. Murray scored the equalising goal, before assisting Zaha’s winner.

The 31-year-old striker may not be the most talented, but he knows how to work for a team and it is no surprise that his return to the team has seen Zaha rediscover his spark.

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