At Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace play host to West Ham on New Year’s Day, as they look to build on the foundations that were laid last time out against Norwich (5.30pm Saturday; TV: Live on Sky Sports). Much of the same can be said for the visitors, who arrive at this junction having picked up a convincing win on Tuesday. Read on for our full CPFC vs WHU Premier League match preview and betting tips.
For the hosts, things haven’t exactly gone swimmingly of late, as two wins in eight suggests, but it is not all doom and gloom. After getting back on track by going two games without defeat, Patrick Viera’s men were humbled at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Boxing Day, losing by three goals to nil. A first-half red card for Wilfried Zaha didn’t help matters, though the Eagles looked set to be outclassed regardless. The absence of their talisman was naturally a worry ahead of their festive fixture against Norwich, but the Ivorian was hardly missed as three first-half goals secured a much-needed victory.
West Ham also bounced back last time out following a run of defeats that, given their previous form, came as something of a surprise. After going five games (in all competitions) without a win, four of which they lost, David Moyes’ troops got back in the swing of things by hammering Watford on the road. If they can display the same sort of attacking form at Selhurst Park on New Year’s Day, then victory won’t be out of the question.
Threatening at home
Selhurst Park has been a happy hunting ground for Viera’s side, and not just in terms of points collected, of which they have picked up a healthy 17, making them the sixth-best point scorers at home in the Premier League. They have also scored no shortage of goals in front of a home crowd, notching 18. Only the current top three have scored more home goals than Crystal Palace this season, so the Eagles can certainly hurt teams, make no mistake about it.
In addition, Saturday’s hosts also give a relatively small amount away. They’ve scored twice as many as they’ve conceded, keeping four clean sheets. More than this, they’ve restricted teams in terms of chances, conceding an average of just 0.75 expected goals per 90 minutes at home, which again puts them right up there. Only Man City and Liverpool have conceded less in terms of xG at home.
For much of this campaign, the Hammers have made a name for themselves as a side that can hurt teams at will, scoring no shortage of goals. Only the current top three have scored more goals than Moyes’ men, who have put away a healthy total of 34. However, when playing on the road of late, they’ve not always been at it offensively. Fortunately, they scored four goals at Watford last time out, which should serve as excellent preparation for this game, but that was the first time in five travelling league games that they’d scored more than once, while an average of just one goal per game in those five doesn’t exactly scream attacking potency.
CPFC vs WHUFC: Goals galore
This will be the second time that Palace and the Hammers have faced off this season, and the first encounter didn’t disappoint those who paid for the privilege to be pitch side. The pair shared four goals and left the field level at 2-2, after Michail Antonio drew the Hammers level, cancelling out a second goal from rising star Connor Gallagher, who put the Eagles in front after Pablo Fornals opened the scoring with a precise finish.
In recent times, there has been no shortage of goals in this fixture. Both teams have scored in each of the last nine renewals, while at least three goals have hit the net in six of those nine games.
Hosts easy to fancy in the betting
Given the eight-point advantage that West Ham have over Palace, coupled with their general attacking form and the fact that they arrive here off the back of a thumping away-day win, it is not exactly surprising to see that the visitors are favoured in the betting, though they look a little short. Similarly, there may just be a shade of value to the price available on the home win.
After all, we’ve seen time and again that Palace can do the business on their own patch. They don’t give an awful lot away, while if we discount the big two or three, they’re as good as anyone in terms of getting the ball in the net, or at least they have been at Selhurst Park this season. Consider also that the Eagles have an average expected goal difference of +0.76 and the home win really starts to appeal, particularly when we learn that West Ham currently operate an average travelling expected goal difference +0.03.
Odsonne on it again?
Palace’s Odsonne Edouard got himself back on the score-sheet last time out and at odds of 11/5, those looking for a player angle aren’t likely to find a better option here. The French forward may offer what is a modest total of goals at best having scored four in 16 appearances, but he’s often a threat, while goal-scoring opportunities usually fall his way when he’s involved. An average of 0.40 expected goals for is very encouraging, while an average of 2.49 shots per 90 minutes is positive.
All that said, these are our recommended betting tips for this preview:
- Crystal Palace to win @ a best price of 11/5 with Betfred or Bet365.
- Odsonne Edouard to score at any time @ 11/5 with BetVictor.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.