Newly promoted Norwich host Palace in Premier League opener
For all their transfer coups, Crystal Palace have to put right the unwanted stat of no win in three against newly-promoted Norwich City, who are narrow 8/5 favourites with Coral to win upon their Premier League return.
The Canaries took four points off their London opponents two seasons ago, though Alan Pardew’s Eagles swoops certainly make Palace a tempting 9/5 chance to get this campaign off to a winning start in East Anglia. A draw is priced at 11/5.
It’s not just the Eagles who will have new faces on display in this Premier League opener. Although anchorman Youssouf Mulumbu is sidelined, Norwich could hand debuts to both Liverpool loanee Andre Wisdom at right back and Republic of Ireland left-footer Robbie Brady, who is a 6/1 anytime scorer shot, down the other flank of defence as Martin Olsson is recovering from shoulder surgery.
Last term’s Carrow Road player of the season Bradley Johnson struck 15 times en route to promotion from the Championship, and he also netted when previously paired with Palace. Best in a box-to-box role he will surely revert to by accommodating Brady in the Canaries XI, Johnson is a superb 7/2 anytime chance.
Gary Hooper got the only goal when Norwich won this fixture when last at home, so is worth considering at 7/4 in the same market.
Pardew, meanwhile, likes the look of his Eagles outfit. “I like to think we’re an exciting team,” he said. “It’s dangerous to say that, but I think we’re good to watch. Success for us is a season that replicates the second half of last season, a commitment to win games and entertain.”
And entertain Palace should. Playmaker Yohan Cabaye is up there for signing of the summer, and Pardew confirmed the France international, who flourished under him at Newcastle United, will make his competitive debut in Norfolk. Fabulous odds of 4/1 say Cabaye can his bow with a goal anytime.
Patrick Bamford, loaned to the Eagles by Chelsea, netted against Norwich in Middlesbrough colours last term, and is a 6/1 shot to open the scoring. Fellow attacking arrivals Bakary Sako and Connor Wickham should also play some part, but it could be from the bench.
This match comes too soon for Moroccan frontman Marouane Chamakh, however, so Glenn Murray (7/4 anytime) is Bamford’s main striking competition here. As three of the last five meetings at Carrow Road have contained just one goal, however, the match total being under 1.5 at 15/8 must be considered.