Twelve months ago, Crystal Palace came out of the Christmas period struggling in the relegation mire. The club had gone on a terrible run of form that culminated in the 3-1 home loss to Southampton and the end of Neil Warnock's reign. A year on and the picture is much different. Going into the festive period, Palace hadn't spent a minute outside of the top ten and, sitting in sixth place, had just about half of one eye on getting into the Champions League positions. If Palace could grab wins over in form Bournemouth, at Dean Court, and out of form and managerless Swansea at Selhurst Park, they could find themselves in the top four at the half way point of the season. An achievement that not even the most positive Palace fan could have envisioned twelve months ago. Palace though, went into the two fixtures with major selection headaches. Bakary Sako, Yannick Bolasie, Dwight Gayle and Connor Wickham were confirmed absentees through injury while Lee Chung-Yung would miss the Bournemouth game after the birth of his child. Yohan Cabaye and Mile Jedinak were also doubts which meant that the squad was stretched as thin as it had been all season. Could the likes of Patrick Bamford step up to the plate?