Ian Holloway has only been in charge of Crystal Palace for two games, but he already has the Eagles playing with the attacking flair that characterised his time at Blackpool.
The affable Bristolian won many admirers two seasons ago as his Tangerines side dazzled with their gung-ho approach to the Premier League and after narrowly failing to keep them up on that occasion, he will be gagging for a second crack at the top flight with his new club.
And considering the impressive way in which Palace – who no-one gave a prayer of getting promoted prior to the start of the season – have stormed to the top of the table, another three points look inevitable at a price of 91/100 when Derby County visit Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Similarly to Palace shocking the football world with their current league position, the Rams have had a far better start than many predicted. Nigel Clough’s side currently sit in ninth place and will have expectations of sneaking a play-off spot if they can maintain their form for the whole campaign.
A defeat in their last match to Millwall will have dented their confidence slightly, but punters who sense a return to winning ways for the Pride Park side can back this outcome at odds of 14/5, while the draw is priced at 12/5.
Palace’s last two fixtures at Selhurst Park have resulted in victories with clean sheets for the home side and a repeat is certainly a possibility at the weekend.
A 2-0 win over Blackburn was quickly followed up with a 5-0 thrashing of Ipswich, so a match-up against a Derby side who have scored just seven goals in eight away games could see a hat-trick of clean sheets for the Eagles.
Given this, two bets take my fancy when looking at the coupon. Firstly, a dabble on Derby not to score in the match, which is priced at 2/1, looks very tempting. New customers registering with bwin can claim a free £20 bet and placing it on Derby failing to find the back of the net would return £60 if successful.
The second bet that catches my eye is in the multiple correct score market, where Palace are available at an attractive-looking 31/10 to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0.
Seven of the Eagles’ last eight Championship fixtures have seen them score two or more goals, so it should not be a problem for the home side to breach the Rams rearguard on at least a couple of occasions.
The issue would be whether they can keep a clean sheet, but coming into this fixture on the back of two consecutive clean sheets in front of their own fans gives me confidence they can repeat the feat and land us a winner.