Saturday’s FA Cup clash may do little for the neutral, but both Nigel Clough and Dougie Freedman will be looking to book their place in the fourth round as Derby County entertain Crystal Palace at Pride Park.
The two sides played out a 1-1 draw during their league meeting at Selhurst Park in December and since then Derby have returned to form, notching four wins out of their last five fixtures.
The Rams are an excellent price at 6/5 to continue their run with victory at home to their Championship rivals and boss Clough, whose dad Brian famously never won the old trophy, is desperate to make up for last season’s third-round failure at Crawley.
Clough has also publicly stated that he will not field a weakened team this weekend, like so many sides who have devalued the magic of the cup by doing so previously.
Conversely, Palace manager Freedman celebrated his one-year anniversary in charge on New Year’s Day, but if the excitement of a Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Cardiff City on Tuesday wasn’t enough of a hindrance, his side’s preparations have also been hampered by a virus which forced the club to cancel two days of training.
Captain Paddy McCarthy and Julian Speroni have both been left bedbound and with that in mind, the away side would seemingly do well to return from the Midlands with a replay at odds of 11/5, let alone a win at 23/10.
New customers using their free £25 bet for joining bwin.com on Derby to win can expect to pocket returns of £55 if they indeed book their place in the fourth round..
However, the handicap or double result markets could also provide a lucrative route into backing a home victory.
The Rams are 13/4 to win by at least two goals (Derby win in the 0-1 handicap market), while the double result market could prove more fruitful still.
Clough’s men have won six of their 11 league games this season after being level at half-time and a similar outcome on Saturday is priced at 9/2.
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