By 90Min
September 22, 2017

Five games into the new season, Crystal Palace are nailed to the foot of the Premier League table without a win, without a point, and without a goal. Put like that, it sounds beyond dreadful, almost as though the Eagles are destined to challenge Derby County's 2007/08 campaign.

But dig a little deeper and there is hope.

While Palace have failed to find the net in five games, what they haven't been is short on chances. The team has come agonisingly close to scoring at various times, only to see the ball cleared, saved or blocked instead of hitting the net.

As painful as that has been for fans (90min FanVoice's Harvey has documented it superbly this season - watch the video above for Palace's most recent game), the ball has at least been in the right areas to score. Statistically, they have been the joint most wasteful team in the Premier League so far this in 2017/18 when it comes to squandering 'big chances'.

As many as 10 have gone begging, an average of two per game, and converting even just half of those could have made a huge difference. Only Arsenal have also missed 10, while Manchester United have fluffed nine, and Manchester City have wasted eight.

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

These are some of the Premier League's most creative and best attacking teams and so for Palace the situation would be much, much worse if they weren't even coming close to scoring. People say scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in football, but actually getting the ball into a position where it can officially be deemed a 'big chance' is arguably the tougher part of it.

It's certainly not as though Palace's defence is causing all the problems. For some teams, even scoring goals doesn't matter because they leak so many at the other end they are rarely in with a chance to win games. That isn't the case for the Eagles.

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

The 3-0 opening day humbling at the hands of Huddersfield aside, Palace haven't conceded a real glut of goals. The team has leaked five in four games in total, and their overall record is better than Liverpool's. At present, there are six Premier League defences that are worse.

Palace have lost three of their five Premier League games by a single goal. Had they scored just once in any of those games, converting those 'big chances', that would have been points on the board. That was particularly the case against Southampton where the Saints were lucky to escape Selhurst Park with a victory and probably would have been happy with a point.

ADRIAN DENNIS/GettyImages

It hasn't been a good start from Palace in the league, but there is still plenty of hope yet.

'Big Chances' Missed by Premier League Clubs in 2017/18:

Club Big Chances Missed
=1. Arsenal 10
=1. Crystal Palace 10
3. Manchester United 9
=4. Manchester City 8
=4. Newcastle United 8
6. Liverpool 7
=7. Swansea City 5
=7. Tottenham Hotspur 5
=9. Southampton 4
=9. Watford 4

Data sourced from the Premier League's official website

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