Crystal Palace v Sheffield United: Palace will inflict another defeat on Blades

Dan Fitch likes the price of Crystal Palace to inflict yet another defeat upon Sheffield United...

Crystal Palace 2.06 v Sheffield United 4.1; The Draw 3.6
Saturday 2 January, 15:00
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Palace in need of a victory

Crystal Palace will be looking for a win to end a poor run of form, when they host Sheffield United on Saturday.

After a bright start to the season, Palace have been slowly drifting towards the relegation zone since the end of November. Over the past eight games, Palace have only claimed one win (D3 L4).

They came close to beating Leicester at home in their last outing, with Palace taking the lead in the second-half through Wilfried Zaha, before Harvey Barnes scored a late equaliser. Nearly beating a quality side such as Leicester should be a confidence boost, even if they weren't able to complete the job.

Roy Hodgson has a number of injuries to deal with and as often seems the case with Palace, he has a number of defenders missing. Wayne Hennessey, Nathan Ferguson, Gary Cahill, Martin Kelly and Connor Wickham are all unavailable.

Sheffield United on course to break unwanted record

If Crystal Palace are in need of a win, Sheffield United are absolutely desperate for one.

After 16 games the Blades have yet to win and only claimed two points (D2 L14). For Sheffield United to stay up they will have to pull off the greatest of great escapes.

Applied over a full season, Sheffield United's meagre points ratio would see them end up with just 4.75 points, far below the lowest ever total of eleven points, recorded by Derby in the 2007-08 campaign. Most clubs would have sacrificed their manager by now in an effort to turn things around and the fact that Chris Wilder has been backed, suggests that Sheffield United have accepted the inevitable. That could be sensible, as Wilder is the man who guided the club to the Premier League and there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to do it again.

John Lundstrum is suspended for the trip to London. Jack O'Connell, Kean Bryan and Sander Berge are all out with injuries, while Oliver McBurnie might also miss out.

Palace value, despite poor form

Crystal Palace are 2.06 to win, with the draw at 3.6 and a Sheffield United victory out at 4.1.

Though Palace having not been winning much of late, a price of just over evens looks generous against a team that have lost as high a percentage of their matches, as Sheffield United have.

It's hard to see where a goal is coming from for the Blades at the moment, while Palace always look dangerous with Zaha in their team. Back Palace to take three points at 2.06.

Blades are blunt

Of Sheffield United's 14 losses this season, nine have seen them fail to score, so if you're feeling confident regarding Palace's chances, back them to win to nil at 3.1.

Some ten of Sheffield United's 16 games have seen less than three goals scored. Under 2.5 goals therefore looks reasonably priced at 1.72.

Zaha positional change has paid off

Zaha has been employed in a more advanced role this season and it's paid off. Used by Hodgson as a striker, Zaha has found the net eight times from 14 appearances.

That's a decent tally for anyone, with Harry Kane having nine from 15 games as a comparison. Yet Zaha still seems curiously overpriced and you can back him to find the net at 2.88.



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