Crystal Palace and Burnley braced for basement battle
Neil Warnock has never lost a home league fixture against Burnley in his 34-year managerial career, so Crystal Palace can be confident of getting something from their Premier League basement battle with Sean Dyche’s side.
Naturally, as these two teams prop up the early season table, the Eagles (11/8) and Clarets (odds-on 1/2 favourites) lead Coral’s relegation market. Palace start at 11/10 to get their first victory of the campaign here at home, while a draw is 9/4. Burnley are 11/4 outsiders to snatch all three points from this trip to the capital.
Although Dyche’s charges recorded victories over Blackpool, Barnsley and Charlton on the road at the back end of 2013/14, they were all against sides that were battling Championship relegation. The Clarets’ last big win away came in the east Lancashire derby over Blackburn Rovers in March.
The Eagles exhibited strong home form under Tony Pulis last term, derailing title tilts from Liverpool and Chelsea, yet are without victory in three at Selhurst Park. Goals have been difficult to come by for Burnley, however, with Scottish midfielder Scott Arfield their only scorer this season so far. Odds of 5/1 say he can repeat his feat against Chelsea here and net anytime.
Both Palace and the Clarets made three signings on transfer deadline day, with Warnock’s last minute moves more eye-catching. The Eagles swooped for Wigan Athletic and Scotland star James McArthur, smashing their fee for a record buy. Left-footed defender Zeki Fryers was also purchased by Palace, with Republic of Ireland frontman Kevin Doyle loaned in from Wolves.
Warnock has subsequently brought free agent and Selhurst scoring hero Andy Johnson back to south London. He was at QPR alongside Doyle last term, and this classic combination of little and large could serve the Eagles well up front, especially as Marouane Chamakh is doubtful with a hamstring problem.
Diminutive ex-England striker Johnson is 5/2 to score anytime on what would be his second Palace debut, while Doyle is 9/4 to cap a potential bow by being on target. Fraizer Campbell and Dwight Gayle, the Eagles’ top scorer with four in all competitions, are alternative attacking options for Warnock, and shorter at 6/4 in this market. McArthur, meanwhile, is 6/1.
Returning wing wizard Wilfried Zaha scored twice when Palace last played Burnley at home, and the Ivorian-born England international is a 10/1 chance to bag a brace or better as the Selhurst crowd welcomes him back. He is a shorter 15/8 in the anytime market after snatching a point from the trip to Newcastle United on his and Warnock’s return.
Clarets capture George Boyd could play in a wide berth or off the front for Dyche, and is 11/4 to grab a debut goal in south London. Holding player Nathaniel Chalobah and defender Michael Keane, on loan from Chelsea and Manchester United respectively, face a struggle to get into the spine of Dyche’s settled side, however.
Burnley stalwart Michael Duff is now 36, though, so some younger legs could be useful at centre half. Danny Ings will be looking to break his Premier League duck here for the visitors, and the England Under-21 frontman is 7/4 to do just that. Punters should back Palace to win and both teams score at a tasty 9/2.