Crystal Palace v Southampton: Back Roy to deliver debut delight


CORRECT SCORE specialist Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) delivers his verdict from Saturday's early televised kick-off.

Crystal Palace v Southampton | Saturday 16th September 2017, 12:30 | Sky Sports

Backing a side yet to score this season to find the net twice may seem illogical, but I am working on the theory that everything regresses to the mean.

Crystal Palace have had 57 shots so far this season, and whilst that is likely to include Andros Townsend’s attempts from the corner flag, it does suggest that they deserve slightly more than the zero goals they currently have for their efforts.

They certainly should have scored against Burnley, passing up numerous presentable opportunities as they somehow lost by a solitary goal at Turf Moor.

That defeat brought the end to Frank de Boer’s time at the club. In his stead comes Roy Hodgson, who despite troubling spells with both Liverpool and England excelled at clubs who Palace would consider their peers – Fulham and West Brom.

What to expect from Roy at the Palace

I have heard many pundits compare Hodgson to former Eagles boss, Tony Pulis. I can assure you that is a harsh comparison. Hodgson’s brand of football is far more attractive to watch and unlike the Welshman, he will not suppress players attacking instincts.

When Roy took over as West Brom manager in 2010/11, the club were just above the relegation zone on goal difference. He kept them up with ease – securing 20 points from their final 12 games – despite Albion managing just one clean sheet during that spell.

He performed perhaps even more impressively at Fulham, keeping them up against the odds before eventually leading them to a Europa League final.

Like his Albion and Fulham sides, Palace have a lot of pace in wide areas and in Wilfried Zaha possess arguably the most feared attacking players outside of the top six clubs.

The betting angle

Therefore, whilst he will obviously attempt to improve his side’s defensive shape, I believe that 2-1 correct score will be a more common scoreline than 1-0 for the South London club.

This was the case at Fulham and West Brom. Across his two spells, he managed 72 home games, winning 2-1 on 10 occasions and 1-0 eight times. Given that 2-1 is usually a bigger price, it will be of no surprise that I am backing this result against Southampton at 11/1 with Bet365.

I would argue that the home pummelling of Swansea apart (they somehow failed to score in that game), the Saints have been poor this season and this is the best way to back a Palace side that I want to be on this weekend.

Best Bets

Crystal Palace v Southampton – Crystal Palace 2-1 Southampton (11/1 Bet365)

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