Updates from Premier League opener at Selhurst Park

Huddersfield

Updates from Premier League opener at Selhurst Park

The 35-year-old defender has called time on his playing career and hung up his boots.

Ahead of the trip to South London, boss David Wagner has spoken about how despite facing tougher opposite than in previous seasons, the mood at the club will not change.

The Premier League is back, and Crystal Palace open their campaign on Saturday against newly promoted Huddersfield Town.

Smith fractured his foot in the Championship play-off final win over Reading in May and has missed the bulk of pre-season but, after Mark Hudson's retirement was confirmed this week, his successor as skipper has declared himself fit to lead the team out at Selhurst Park.

Twenty-one of those starts, along with five substitute appearances, came in last season's fairytale promotion.

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Part of a club statement read: "This transition was envisaged when Mark signed a new three-year contract at the Club in April 2016".

Christian Benteke guarantees goals in attack and handling the big Belgian is likely to be a rude awakening to life in the top-flight for Town, who are tasting Premier League action for the first time in the club's history.

Asked if Premier League survival would be on a par with those successes of promotion and of Leicester winning the title, Wagner replied: "For us as a football club to stay up will be absolutely comparable success - even if we will not have a trophy and a parade at the end".

Back in April of previous year, Hudson had already joined the backroom staff as a player-coach and now the move will mean he can continue with his studies on his UEFA A Licence course. "I think everyone can see how big of an influence he is in the dressing room and how good of a character he is for the team".

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