It has only been a few weeks since Ian Holloway was at the helm at Bloomfield Road, but when the opportunity arrived for this most intriguing of characters to start afresh at Crystal Palace, he jumped at the chance.
Of course, it helped that his new side were sitting pretty towards the top of the Championship table, but in all honesty, Holloway had taken Blackpool as far as he could and it was certainly the right time for a new challenge.
On arrival, Palace were playing with the utmost confidence and fortunately for everyone involved at Selhurst Park, Ollie’s entrance has not had any adverse effect on performances.
Five wins from the opening seven fixtures of his tenure is a dream start and that tremendous run of form sees the Eagles lying in second spot, a single point behind leaders Cardiff City.
Given the formbook and the sheer desire that Holloway will have to win as his former employers head to south London, odds of 11/10 for a Palace victory look far too big.
New customers receive a free £20 bet for joining bwin.com and placing this on a Crystal Palace win would return £42 if successful.
The Seasiders, for their part, go into Saturday’s encounter having not lost in their last six Championship matches, but that does not tell the whole story.
A win was followed by four consecutive draws and despite recording a victory over Peterborough in their last outing, Blackpool sit in 12th spot in the table and remain five points adrift of the play-off positions.
As a result, Michael Appleton’s men are priced as 12/5 outsiders in bwin’s 3Way market, with the draw on offer at 9/4.
Holloway’s teams have never been known for being solid defensively, so it is quite remarkable that his new Palace side have kept five clean sheets in his first seven fixtures as manager.
Maybe they still retain elements of the Dougie Freedman defensive strategy, but nonetheless it is still an impressive feat.
However, despite their brilliant knack for keeping sides at bay, it is hard to imagine a contest involving Blackpool where the Seasiders fail to find the back of the net.
Appleton’s side have scored at least once in each of their last nine fixtures (albeit with Holloway in charge for a couple of those) so it looks a certainty that both sides will trouble the scorers on Saturday afternoon.
Odds of 53/100 for this occurrence may not necessarily be long enough for some punters, but it does look a sure thing and I would not deter bwin customers from lumping on this outcome.
For slightly better odds though, I suggest a bet on the game to contain over 3.5 goals at tempting odds of 8/5.
Games at Selhurst Park this season have averaged 3.90 goals and five of the ten fixtures have ended with over 3,5 goals being scored, so there is definitely a strong possibility of a repeat at the weekend.
In addition to these stats, four of the ten matches at the home of the Eagles have even had over 4.5 goals and a price of 18/5 is available on this occurring again.
Whatever bet you fancy, I will certainly be plumping for a Palace victory because odds of 11/10 on Holloway sending his former charges home pointless look too good to be true.