It is too early to definitively reach any conclusions regarding how the standings will look come May, but what is apparent is that there are at least three teams who look significantly worse than Palace.
At Bournemouth the Eagles succumbed to defeat courtesy of two moments of absurdity and ill-discipline not befitting of any professional footballer.
Regardless, even if Hodgson were tempted to break up a central defensive combination which has lost just twice in 19 games, there is nobody knocking down his door to play. Martin Kelly is a suitable back-up option but is not likely to displace either man.
Jordan Ayew will run until his lungs burst but to expect him to play the role of a target man is foolish. If the Eagles boss wants to persist with his current shape then Max Meyer must be among the starting 11.
The German’s performance at Bournemouth was, aside from Wayne Hennessey’s saves, the only positive. He offers creativity and movement in midfield.
They seem to be risk averse, particularly lacking confidence. Shaping to shoot only to take an extra touch and find themselves closed down, not taking on the difficult passes, failing to present themselves for the ball in more congested areas, it all points to playing too conservatively.
The positive atmosphere has also mostly disappeared, groaning and moaning evident from the supporters where once they would be roaring their team on.