Crystal Palace’s shuffling towards Premier League survival is on the cusp of ascending into a full-blown stride and victory over basement buddies Cardiff will kick-start the goose-stepping.
The Eagles are available to back at 11/5 to win in the Welsh capital and Marouane Chamakh’s return to the fold heaps value on this price.
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The Moroccan could well prove your money maker here and we’ve provided the triumvirate of reasons why:
John Terry was the only player to put the ball in the net for Tony Pulis’ side during his star striker’s absence.
Chelsea skipper Terry put through his own goal to entitle Palace to a shock win over their upmarket neighbours; it was the first time the club forced a restart upon the opposition since Chamakh’s hamstring injury suffered at Swansea four games back.
He’s got a two-goal lead at the summit of the Selhurst Park scoring charts with five to his name this term, while no player has out-assisted him either.
In addition to being the source of Palace’s scoring prowess, the former Arsenal man is also imperative to their winning ability.
Croydon’s finest have only managed to prevail in two top-tier games without their Moroccan marksman.
One came courtesy of Terry’s aforementioned own goal last time out and an injury-time Dwight Gayle strike granted him their other at Aston Villa when the game looked set to end all square.
As well as forming the foundation of their attacking threat, Chamakh is also a key contributor defensively.
Pulis’ Palace turnaround has been engineered around dead-bolting the back door and the 30-year-old’s willingness to chase runners and stick a foot in has endeared him to the Welsh tactician.
Averaging an impressive 1.7 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per outing, his desire to do the dirty work will prove a crucial stifling device in this all-important away match.