Monday 30 October 2017

Crystal Palace to Stay Up – Yay or Nay?

Wilfried Zaha played a crucial role in rescuing a point for Crystal Palace this weekend in their premier league match up against West Ham. At half time Roy Hodgson's side were 2-0 down in what was fast looking to be yet another disappointment for the beleaguered London side. An impressive second half comeback saw Milivojevic score 50 minutes in though and Zaha clinched the draw with a last gasp 96th minute effort. In what could be seen as a touch of good fortune during a dire start to the season, it's surely left many punters seeing Palace's chances of staying up this year as something that's still very much in the balance.

Current odds with most major bookmakers have Crystal Palace at around even money to be relegated and so this pretty much confirms that their chances of staying up are something of a coin toss. The West Ham comeback coupled with their surprise win at Chelsea has created an air of optimism in some quarters. It's in stark contrast  to their shockingly bad, 'record breaking' (in a bad way – 731 minutes without scoring!) performance of early season, and may signal better things for the under siege team.

In the bigger picture, it's still early days and with several teams struggling to truly get into gear (Bournemouth, Everton, Swansea, Westham Leicester... the list goes on) a couple more wins in their upcoming fixtures would likely see their relegation odds shorten considerably. Personally, if you're in the 'staying up' camp I would hold off placing a bet until after the Tottenham game as Palace are really up aganst it there. Their next fixtures are Everton, Stoke, Brighton, West Brom and Bournemouth , none of whom are flourishing so far this season, and all of whom are beatable. It's a period that signals a real opportunity for Palace to show the best of what they're capable of rather than the worst.

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Liverpool v Man Utd - Saturday 14th October

With the Internationals currently providing a break in Premier League action, it won't be long until we're jumping straight back into things with what is surely set to be one of the more noteworthy fixtures of the season. Both teams will be looking to claim a top tier scalp and use that as a springboard, going forward.

Liverpool have had something of an uneven and faltering start to the season, and so will be eager to show that they that can put that behind them. Their 4-0 masterclass against Arsenal at the start of the season impressed many, but it was swiftly followed by a 5-0 drubbing to Manchester City, though admittedly Liverpool did get a player sent off early in the match. Manchester United on the other hand may well see this as a good chance to stake an eventual claim for the top of the table, by dispatching of a higher quality of team than some of their early season fixtures.

A number of factors make this game a potentially less predictable affair than current form and odds of winning the league suggest (Man Utd are currently 3-1 to top the table vs Liverpool at 33-1). For one, Liverpool have a home advantage, which often brings out the best in the team. A more immediate issue though, for both teams in fact, is that a number of players will be dealing with fatigue from Internationals - or worse. For United Fellaini has already been ruled out of the game, due to picking up a knee injury in the Belgium game. Pogba is also out. Jurgen Klopp's side have also had their fair share of Internation action, with 11 of the 18 players in the Newcastle game having been called up for International duties. This all adds up to an unpredictable game, and that's factored into the odds.

Currently Liverpool are 8/5 to win the match, Manchester United are 13/8 and the Draw 12/5. That's one way of saying that betting wise this game is seen as something of a 'crap shoot'. With no shortage of goals under their belt I can see United scoring, but also think Liverpool will be desperate to put up a good fight at home. It's a difficult game to call, so I'm inclined to go the speculative bet route just to have an interest. Therefore I'll have a small bet on Manchester United/Liverpool 30-1 and Liverpool/Manchester United 35-1  HT-FT results. Here's hoping for an unpredictable and action packed game. Enjoy the match!