Just over a week ago, Crystal Palace produced the shock result of the season when they defeated Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.
Their extra-time victory at Old Trafford has left them on the verge of a Wembley final, but this success disguises the fact that their league form has deteriorated drastically in recent weeks.
Dougie Freedman’s side are only six points off a play-off place in the Championship, but just over a month ago they were sat in the top six and looking like promotion contenders.
Since their 1-0 win away to Ipswich on October 22nd they have picked up just four points from seven games, with no victories included in this run.
Thanks to this slide in form, Palace go into this weekend’s game against Nottingham Forest as the underdogs, despite being seven points better off than their hosts.
The Londoners are priced at 11/4 to come away with the three points in bwin’s 3way football betting market, while Forest are 19/20 favourites with the draw at 23/10.
Your money would be fairly safe if you bet on Forest scoring more in the second half of the match at 3/2.
The favourites tag is not something that Steve Cotterill’s Forest side will be used to this season given their position in the relegation zone, but a recent upturn in results at home makes them the likeliest to emerge victorious on Saturday.
Forest have won three of their previous five fixtures at the City Ground and considering that Palace have lost three away games on the trot it is easy to understand the odds on offer.
If victory for the Reds does come, it is likely to be as a result of a second-half comeback, if the stats are to be believed.
The home side have only scored four times in the first half of games at the City Ground, but based on second-half displays they would be three points better off than if the game ended after 45 minutes.
This may not show a clear difference in performances between the two halves of games, but I think your money would be fairly safe if you bet on Forest scoring more in the second half of the match at 3/2.
The away form of Palace adds to my belief that Forest will claim the three points on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles have only conceded three times in the first 45 minutes of away fixtures, but that number jumps to 11 in the second half and shows that they struggle in the second half on the road.
With the first-half form of both sides taken into consideration, there is a very good chance that Crystal Palace will score the first goal in the game before Forest fight back to eventually win.
Punters looking for a longer-priced selection on this clash could therefore do worse than back Palace/Forest in the half-time/full-time market at tempting odds of 28/1.
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