After a three-year absence, the London derby between Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace returns to the Championship and kicks off the weekend’s action on Friday night.
Four games into the new season and Chris Powell will be quietly satisfied with the way that his Charlton side have started their campaign.
Despite the newly-promoted Addicks suffering a penalty shoot-out defeat to Leyton Orient in the first round of the Capital One Cup, their league results have been promising.
Two draws and a win in their opening three games gave them a strong foundation, but in their previous fixture they met a Nottingham Forest side who were too strong for them.
While Charlton have enjoyed a reasonable start, for Crystal Palace things have not been going to plan at this early stage in the season.
The previous four matches between the two sides, three of which were won by Charlton, have seen only one side score, so 11/5 on Charlton winning to nil could be a strong option.
A win against League Two side Exeter City in the cup was all well and good but what followed was defeat in the opening three league fixtures of the campaign and a place at the bottom of the table.
The final weekend of action just before the international break did see Palace get their first points on the board with a 2-1 success over Sheffield Wednesday, but despite this they sit second from bottom in the table.
Thanks to their early-season struggles, Palace head into this Friday’s match as outsiders at 31/10 in bwin’s 3-way betting market, while Charlton are well fancied with odds of 91/100 and the draw is priced at 11/5.
Perhaps the most concerning thing for Palace manager Dougie Freedman is how vulnerable his defence appear to be, with ten goals conceded in the four league games to date and a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of League One Preston thrown in as well.
Charlton, on the other hand, have a far more respectable defensive record – the fifth best in the league, to be precise – but there has been at least two goals in all but one of their games, so over 1.5 goals being scored at 3/10 looks almost certain and you should be pretty safe with over 2.5 goals at evens.
If you’re looking for more value, then bwin is offering 4/1 on a multiple correct score of 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 in favour of the home side.
Something to bear in mind though is that the previous four matches between the two sides, three of which were won by Charlton, have seen only one side score, so 11/5 on Charlton winning to nil could be a strong alternative option.
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