Why Glenn Murray is Crystal Palace’s unsung hero

Crystal Palace are in terrific form and their unsung hero comes in the form of striker Glenn Murray.

Crystal Palace thumped relegation-threatened Sunderland on Saturday at the Stadium of Light, thanks to an 11-minute hat-trick from Yannick Bolasie.

The result was the Eagles’ fourth win in a row and their fifth victory in their last six away games. They are flying.

Alan Pardew has transformed them into a dogged and determined relegation struggler into a free-flowing, exciting mid-table side, with their sights set on their first top half finish in Premier League history.

It is a truly incredible story and their away form in particular has been startling. They combine a sturdy backline with a quick and powerful forward line who have the potential to hurt any defence in the division as proven by their win over Manchester City last Monday.

The star from that game was striker Glenn Murray, who may not have the pace of Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha but he plays a crucial role as the focal point of this side.

Murray does not get all the plaudits he deserves. Without him leading their line in recent weeks, Palace would not be the same force they currently are.

After playing most of the first half of the season on loan at Reading in the Championship, Murray has returned to his parent club in sensational form.

His hold-up play is fantastic as it allows his teammates to join attacks and allows Palace to both defend as a unit and attack in significant numbers.

Murray’s aerial ability is also excellent. He wins the majority of his aerial duels he takes part in, an area of the game which defenders normally dominate. The 31-year-old’s physical presence is very difficult to handle and Palace are the beneficiaries.

The forward has scored six Premier League goals in his last six games to jump to the top of Palace’s goal-scoring charts.

Murray is keeping the likes of Yaya Sanogo, Dwight Gayle and Fraizer Campbell out of the team and on current form, he is surely undroppable.

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