Starting at Brighton could Palace's next 6 games see them out of drop zone?

Crystal Palace's French midfielder Mamadou Sakho (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their late winning goal in the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and...

After beating Stoke can Crystal Palace get themselves out of the relegation zone by Christmas - starting with a positive result at rivals Brighton?

Crystal Palace's French midfielder Mamadou Sakho (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their late winning goal in the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and...Crystal Palace's Mamadou Sakho (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their late winning goal in the English Premier League football match against Stoke City.

There was delight at Crystal Palace on Saturday (November 25) as they won only their second Premier League match of the season by beating Stoke City 2-1.

It wasn't enough to move the Eagles off the bottom of the table, but it does close the gap between themselves and safety to just three points.

Roy Hodgson, Manager of Crystal Palace looks on during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Stoke City at Selhurst Park on November 25, 2017 in London, England.Roy Hodgson, manager of Crystal Palace, looks on during the Premier League match against Stoke City.

After losing their first seven league matches this is a sign that their form is turning around, with victory against Stoke meaning they have now only lost once in their last four top tier outings.

What will give further encouragement to manager Roy Hodgson and the Palace fans is the run the club now faces before Christmas - one which could see the South Londoners out of the bottom three by the season's halfway mark.

Tricky fixtures against top six teams Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have now passed, with Hodgson looking at visits to Brighton and Hove Albion, West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City and Swansea City, as well as Bournemouth and Watford coming to Selhurst Park, over the next six matches.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Crystal Palace celebrates with team mates Wilfried Saha after scoring during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Stoke City at Selhurst Park on...Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Crystal Palace celebrates with teammate Wilfried Zaha after scoring during the Premier League match against Stoke City.

The 70-year-old will go into all of these with genuine confidence that his players can pick up points, especially as morale is growing and the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are hitting form at just the right time.

Over that same period the two other teams in the relegation zone, Swansea and West Ham United, face rather more daunting tasks, for example. Both will take on the Blues and City, while the Hammers have also got to contend with Arsenal.

There hasn't been a lot to shout about at Palace so far in 2017/18, but perhaps the three points secured against Stoke could be the beginning of that changing - starting against rivals Brighton on Tuesday (November 28).

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