Finding any smidgens of comfort from Crystal Palace’s timid return to the Premier League is a tough job but there is one gem that manager Ian Holloway has unearthed and he goes by the name of Dwight Gayle.
Palace’s electric striker, who has been likened to Ian Wright due to his lethalness in front of goal and the way he has mirrored Wright’s rise through non-league ranks, is well worth backing to score first against Fulham at an industry best price of 15/2, especially with bwin generously refunding losing bets if either Darren Bent or Dimitar Berbatov notch at any time.
Both Fulham strikers are more than capable for firing past a leaky Palace defence that has failed to keep a clean sheet this season.
Only one of Bent and Berbatov will lead the line for Fulham in south London but both carry a significant goal threat when provided with the right service.
The former Sunderland striker, who came agonizingly close to signing for Palace over the summer, has scored two of Fulham’s five league goals this campaign while Berbatov, although not quite firing on all cylinders this term, can boast a haul of 15 Premier League strikes last season.
Along with first goalscorer wagers, losing correct score, to score two or more and to score three or more bets will be refunded if either Bent or Berbatov find the onion bag against Holloway’s men.
Gayle scored 13 goals in just four months of Championship football for Peterborough United.
After being rejected by Arsenal as a youngster for being too lightweight, Gayle started from the bottom with Stansted in the ninth tier of English football and fired his way to the Premier League, via Dagenham & Redbridge and Peterborough.
Two of Palace’s measly five goals this season have been supplied by the lively Gayle as he has shown that the £4.5million Holloway forked out for his services has the potential to be a very profitable investment.
Fulham have lost more points thanks to goals conceded in the final five minutes than any other side this term.
Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City have all stolen points off the Cottagers with the clock ticking down this season.
Concentration and a lack of organisation are to blame for these lapses and it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to see Gayle and his teammates take advantage of this sloppiness once again.
Backing the Draw/Crystal Palace in the half-time/full-time market at 21/4 is certainly a tactic which should interest shrewd value hunters.