The KC Stadium is the setting for a shoot-out between two of the Championship’s top six clubs on Tuesday evening as Hull City welcome second-placed Crystal Palace to Humberside.
Hull are in fifth position, but it is definitely Palace who have been grabbing the attention in recent months, thanks in no small part to their brilliant 14-game unbeaten run that saw them surge to the top of the table.
The Palace juggernaut was finally brought to a halt this past Saturday though as they succumbed to their first defeat since August in a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Leeds United and dropped to second in the process.
This was also the first time that Ian Holloway had tasted defeat as Palace manager since he took over at the start of November, but with the jovial Bristolian in charge, the Palace players are unlikely to be greatly disheartened by the loss ahead of a tough trip to Steve Bruce’s Hull.
In bwin’s betting markets Crystal Palace find themselves at longer odds than their hosts, with 23/10 available on an away win and 6/5 on Hull to take the points, while a draw is 21/10.
The odds may well be against them, but in my book the Eagles are the favourites given that they have the strongest away record in the Championship with 16 points from a possible 27 to their name and are also the top scorers with an average of two goals per game.
Goals would appear to be a certainty for Holloway’s men this evening, then, especially when you consider that they have scored in every single match this season – which perhaps explains why they are at incredibly short odds of 17/50 to score.
If you want the chance of a decent return from your money, then 8/5 on Palace to find the back of the net more often in the second half than prior to the interval are the odds to take.
In 18 Championship games this season, the Eagles have 24 goals in the second 45 minutes, exactly twice as many as they have managed in the opening halves of those fixtures.
Punters joining bwin.com today can claim a free £20 bet and placing this on Palace to score more goals after half-time than before it would pocket winnings of £52 if successful.
For all this talk of Crystal Palace bouncing back from defeat, we must not forget that Hull are in a similar position having also lost on Saturday afternoon, with Burnley securing a 1-0 victory at the KC Stadium.
That defeat continued Hull’s trend of do or die football, in the sense that they either win or lose – their one and only draw coming against Charlton in the third game of the campaign.
Another trend was bucked though as this was only the second time that they have failed to score, which is why you can find 11/20 on both teams to find the net in the match.
And in a game between two such closely matched opponents with such impressive goalscoring records, this is surely the safest punt on offer.