With less than three weeks until Christmas, there is little festive cheer around Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace gear up for their annual fight to avoid relegation.

Palace had hoped they would not spend another season scrapping for survival but after Tuesday's 3-1 defeat against 10-man Brighton the situation looks worrying.

The Eagles are just three points above the bottom three and the problems are beginning to mount for Roy Hodgson.

Ahead of their trip to West Ham on Saturday, Standard Sports looks at what's going wrong and their chances of getting out of trouble.

Lack of goals

The absence of a genuine marksman is a major issue for Palace. Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend as center-forwards, with Christian Benteke injured.

Zaha has been quietly her best performer and Townsend has done well in the role but Palace are blunt without a focal point to her attack. The return of Benteke, who could be back from his knee problem later this month, wants to help.

They are also devoid of creativity. With James McArthur and Max Meyer on the Flanks There is No Walls and Palace Never Look Like Breaking Down. Palace wants to look to buy a striker in January but Hodgson has warned it is difficult to unearth a gem in mid-season.

Zaha's position

Palace rely so heavily on Zaha to shoulder the attacking burden but by playing him as a center-forward they are losing one of the best wingers in the Premier League.
Zaha is at its most dangerous when he is tearing at full-backs and creating from wide positions. He is better than the average, but you can not help but feel.

Zaha has now failed to score in his past nine games. He wants to be on his own. When Benteke returns, playing Zaha on the right could give Palace more of a threat.

No depth in the squad

There is a real lack of depth in the Palace squad and the paucity of options available to Hodgson spells trouble.

The Palace manager has been chasing the game for a while.

Jordan Ayew has been signed for loan in the summer, £ 9million signing Alexander Sorloth continues to struggle with Connor Wickham has been dogged by injuries.

Hodgson, who has stuck with a core of 13 or 14 players this season, does not like the squad in January and bolster his options.

Inflexible Hodgson

There have been questions about how much has happened. Hodgson has been unwilling to change the way they are doing their poor run. Hodgson has not changed from his 4-4-2 or changed to different approach.

The way they are capitulated against Brighton is a real concern. And for a team who rely so heavily on being defensively solid. Dissenting voices among fans are growing.

January may not solve problems

The January transfer window could be a blatant of signing to sort out the problems.

There is limited money to spend on new players, with major additions. Palace are thus prohibited by their hefty dare bill.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek back on loan if Chelsea let him leave.

Hodgson has been warned there is no "magical solution" in January and Palace has been set for another battle against the drop in the second half to the season.