WILLIE DUNCAN (@Willie_Duncan) previews Wednesday’s game between Crystal Palace and Tottenham
Crystal Palace v Tottenham | Wednesday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
Love him or loathe him, there are few who can doubt that if your team is in deep trouble, Sam Allardyce is the man to have in your dugout.
Big Sam stepped in at Selhurst Park when the Eagles gave Alan Pardew the boot just before Christmas – but the only man who can claim a 100% win record as England manager appeared to have lost his Midas touch as the south Londoners lurched from one disastrous result to the next.
Proud record remains intact
The lowest ebb, surely, was a shambolic 4-0 thumping from Sunderland at Selhurst Park; at that point, it looked like a very real possibility that Allardyce’s proud record of never having been relegated from the Premier League was in real danger.
Fast forward a few weeks, however, and Palace are a team transformed; they have won six of their last eight Premier League matches – including impressive wins against Chelsea and Arsenal, as well as a first-ever Premier League triumph for Big Sam against Liverpool at Anfield – and now they are seeking the scalp of title-chasing Tottenham Hotspur.
Fears of relegation, whilst not entirely extinguished, seem pretty distant now and it is not inconceivable that the south London side could end the campaign in the top half of the Premier League table. What a turnaround!
Spurs caught cold?
Mauricio Pochettino’s men are the visitors to Selhurst Park on Wednesday night and Spurs are desperate to keep up the pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea, especially after being beaten by the Blues in a pulsating FA Cup semi-final on Saturday night.
Spurs will be hoping that their phenomenal attacking talent proves to be too hot to handle, for the north Londoners have managed at least two goals in each of their last 11 games in all competitions, scoring eight without reply in their last two league outings.
There have been at least four goals scored in eight of Spurs’ last 10 tussles in all competitions and the 13/8 quotes on offer for the trend to continue on Wednesday may well attract some support from punters.
The shadow of that defeat at Wembley, however, may hang over Spurs and Pochettino’s team could be caught cold by a Palace side that must surely be bursting with belief after recent results.
The Eagles may well have been underestimated by the odds compilers and backing Big Sam’s side to take something from this match could provide punters with a good value selection ahead of this one.
Crystal Palace v Tottenham – Crystal Palace to win or draw (11/8 Unibet)