Conference side Dover host Crystal Palace in FA Cup
The Eagles will be hoping to soar over the white cliffs of Dover back to London with safe passage through to the next round of the FA Cup, against opposition they have never previously encountered.
Alan Pardew takes his new side to the south of England to face Conference outfit Dover and will be hoping this match can revive the fortunes of Crystal Palace, who are odds-on with Coral at 4/9 to record a win. The hosts are unbeaten across all competitions since the start of October and will be confident that they can spring a surprise on their Premier League visitors.
Palace, meanwhile, have endured differing fortunes. They haven’t won in eight attempts in the Premier League, since they beat Liverpool 3-1 in November, though have recorded consecutive draws recently.
Defender Sean Francis is hoping to be fit enough for a showdown with old friend Dwight Gayle for the match, providing the Eagles striker features. The two played at Bishop’s Stortford together, and Francis is relishing a potential on-pitch reunion.
“We had a good time together and we still stay in touch. We would both love to play against each other,” said Francis, who is touch and go to recover from a groin injury, and 16/1 to score anytime.
“There would be a bit of banter for sure but whether we both get out there remains to be seen. I am close to being fit but I’ll just have to wait and see what the gaffer decides to do.”
Dover, who have already disposed of League Two opposition in Morecambe and Cheltenham Town en route to this tie, are 6/1 to record another cup upset. Top scorer Stefan Payne, with 12 across all competitions including one in the FA Cup, is 7/2 to strike anytime. The hosts’ next biggest threat Tom Murphy has netted five in the league, and is 5/1 in the anytime market.
For the Eagles, Gayle is 7/2 to score first, and is his team’s lead marksman this season with six goals, two of those coming in the Capital One Cup.
It is a bit of mystery who Pardew will select for his first game in charge, though Glenn Murray, just back from a loan spell at Reading, may get a run-out, and is odds-on at 10/11 to net anytime.