Just 48 hours after the blistering high of Wednesday night’s Carling Cup quarter-final win at Old Trafford, Crystal Palace return to Championship action and will be keen to keep the feel-good factor going at Selhurst Park against a Derby side in a woeful run of form.
The Rams are on a five-match losing streak and their sensational start to the season back in August seems a lifetime ago.
Without an away win since mid-September, Nigel Clough’s side are priced at 2/1 to end that run in south London, while Palace are available at what looks like a tempting 13/10 to enjoy a fourth home win of the season. The draw is on offer at 11/5.
Booking their place in the last four of the Carling Cup by winning away at Manchester United was a staggering achievement for the Eagles and the 5,000 Palace fans who made the trip north enjoyed an unforgettable night.
But the physical and emotional exertions of such an act should not be under-estimated.
Extra-time against the champions of England, coupled with the euphoric adrenaline of victory, is a draining combination.
So do not expect a high-tempo game on Friday evening, where one side will still be reeling from a giant-killing and the other will be stutteringly nervous after just one win in their last 11 games.
Interestingly, a mere 13 goals have been scored at Selhurst Park this season, the fewest in the division.
In the league, Palace have failed to score in their last five matches, while Derby were woefully devoid of any real cutting edge in their 1-0 defeat at home to Brighton on Tuesday night.
It all points to a low-scoring affair and the bet of under 2.5 goals in the match looks nailed on at football betting odds of 7/10. Combining that bet with a Palace win offers a much more appealing price of 15/4 and is worth some serious consideration.
While Palace have not been prolific in front of goal, they have been resolute defensively, conceding only five times at home all season.
If you fancy them to win, why not back them to win without conceding at 11/4 against a team low on confidence and lacking in invention.
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