Crystal Palace have quietly gone about their business this season, sitting comfortably in mid table at the turn of the year, well clear of the relegation mire and within touching distance of the European spots.
The Eagles find themselves surprise contenders for the Europa League after a stellar 2019 and are currently above the likes of Everton and Arsenal in the Premier League.
As 2019 draws to a close, here's 90min's assessment of Crystal Palace's first half of the season.
Roy Hodgson's side hardly have asked for a better showing in the Premier League this season. The Eagles sit ninth, nine points from the relegation zone and just five points off the Champions League spots.
Palace's key to success has been their consistency. Against the majority of teams where the Seagulls would be considered to have a good chance of coming away with a win, they have duly collected three points. Beating the likes of Burnley, Bournemouth, West Ham and Norwich is what would be expected from a side looking to compete in the top half of the Premier League, so to do so pretty much every week without fail demonstrates what a well-oiled machine Hodgson has built at Selhurst Park.
Despite a strong home record, Palace's Premier League highlight of 2019 arguably happened on the road. The Seagulls appeared to have thrown away three points when they conceded an 89th-minute equaliser at Old Trafford. But Patrick van Aanholt went on to grab a last gasp winner for the Seagulls.
Palace suffered a shock second-round exit in the Carabao Cup to League Two outfit Colchester United. Despite fielding a relatively strong starting XI, Palace were held by the East Anglian side, who then progressed on penalties.
Roy Hodgson's side have drawn Derby County at home in the third round of the FA Cup; a competition the club should be looking to enjoy a strong run in given they should not have any relegation fears this season.
The key to Palace's strong Premier League campaign has been their home form, where they have been particularly consistent. Only the top three - Liverpool, Leicester and Manchester City - have left Selhurst Park with three points all season.
The Eagles have been defensively solid at home, keeping four clean sheets, and no visiting side has scored more than two goals at Selhurst Park during the campaign. Roy Hodgson has built a stubborn, hard to beat side, and this is particularly evident on home turf.
Although defensively sound, Crystal Palace's weakness is at the other end. The Eagles have only managed 18 goals in 20 games this season, with just two players - Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew - netting more than two goals throughout the campaign.
Palace's reliance on Zaha has not been quite as staggering as last season. However, the former Man Utd man still offers their greatest creative spark. With Zaha still rumoured to be looking for an exit should it present itself in January, Ayew remains the only player to offer any regular goal threat.
Areas to Address in January
Signing another winger or creative midfielder is essential for Crystal Palace in order to address their lack of goals, especially if Zaha does depart Selhurst Park.
Palace only have three recognisable strikers in their squad: Connor Wickham, Christian Benteke and Jordan Ayew. Both Wickham and Benteke have failed to find the net in the Premier League this season, while top scorer Ayew has five goals. Recruiting another forward should be a number one priority for Roy Hodgson.
Vicente Guaita has been superb between the sticks for Palace this season, with a man of the match performance at Turf Moor to keep Burnley out as the Seagulls secured an important three points. The Palace keeper put in a similarly impressive display against Southampton, keeping the Saints out late on with a number of impressive saves.
Palace's success this season has been built on their defensive solidity. Guaita has played a pivotal role in this, with six clean sheets. His eye-catching performances have seen Manchester City linked with a January move for the keeper. All the more impressive considering Palace snapped him up on a free transfer.
If Palace's 2020 carries on from where they left off in 2019, Roy Hodgson's side should finish comfortably in mid-table. Although Everton and Arsenal will be expected to kick on under their new managers and finish ahead of the Seagulls, it will still be another good year in the Premier League for Palace.
The Seagulls will be expected to beat Derby at home in the third round of the FA Cup, and such is their comfortable league position, a cup run is definitely on the cards for Palace this season.
Premier League: 11th
FA Cup: Quarter-Finals
A strong points return from the first 20 games, six clean sheets, a win at Manchester United and a draw at Arsenal; the first half of the season has been a good one for Crystal Palace.
Although their lack of goals is a slight concern, and their early Carabao Cup exit was a disappointment, Roy Hodgson's side has exceeded expectations thus far and will be mightily pleased to be sitting pretty in ninth place.
Source : 90min