Crystal Palace’s season worsens with every passing league game. Despite the appointment of Roy Hodgson, they remain without a point and without a goal. And get this…their next game is away to Manchester City on Saturday.
So the question on everybody’s lips ahead of a match which most would struggle to call a contest is not whether City will win, but how many will they win by.
Pep Guardiola’s men are flying with four wins from five and 16 goals scored. They have shipped only two. By contrast Palace, beleaguered and bullied, have a goal difference of minus eight. Franck De Boer’s sacking has not won them many friends, either, after such a short tenure for the Dutchman.
Not surprisingly City are prohibitively priced. They are -650 with Unibet. Palace are +2500 with Blacktype and the stalemate is +900 with Bet365. So it is the goals markets which are likely to take a hammering from punters.
But they will have to be smart. The immediate port of call is the overs markets. Bear in mind, though, that before hoovering up +100 with Paddy Power about over 3.5 you will have Palace, shot shy and hopeless in front of goal, supposedly ‘on your side’.
Might it not be shrewder to reckon that Palace will not even bother to cross the halfway line and set up in a damage limitation exercise? If so, then surely the +160 with Coral of City four-plus goals makes more sense.
There is an argument doing the rounds that Palace will be much tougher to beat under Hodgson. And we subscribe to that. They will keep their shape better and play to their strengths, something which they probably weren’t doing under De Boer.
But Palace have been trying that for some time in the Premier League. And, guess what, they have tried that approach at the Etihad before, too, under similarly pragmatic bosses like Roy. And the results? Here are the last four head-to-head at City: 5-0, 4-0, 5-1, 3-0.
The correct score market is where we reckon the value is. Let’s not mess about with skinny overs/under or pluses.
We will take the +650 with Sports Winner about a 3-0 success for Pep’s boys. And we will also have a saver on 4-0 at +1000 with Betfair. For the record, a 5-0 home result is +1600 with the exchange.
If you feel like swimming against the tide, then we point out that the smartest bet to have is on the ‘both teams to score market’. The +123 with green listed bookmaker Unibet is not too shabby if you sign up to the idea that Palace are hardly a useless bunch of wasters and no pro team at this level can surely go six league games (that’s 540 minutes) without actually scoring a goal.
It’s not a brain-dead bet by any means. City may well be so gung-ho that they leave the door open at the back.