Crystal Palace v Chelsea: Eagles can keep it tight against Tuchel's Blues
Crystal Palace entertain Chelsea on Saturday and Alan Dudman is taking on Timo Werner to score in a potential low-scoring game...
Tuchel's unbeaten run ended
In a season of bizarre results surely the West Brom 2-5 thrashing of Chelsea ranks as one of the strangest. The Blues were 1.25 shots to win that, and not for the first time this season, layers of those skinny odds have collected.
All sorts of reasons can be thrown at the loss. I suspect the international break was a big factor, although 36-year-old Thiago Silva's red card early in the game was obviously a contributory factor. The creaking Brazilian looked ever so rusty and the switch to a back three didn't work as poor defending seeped in.
Although we should give West Brom credit, and the brilliant performance of Matheus Pereira.
That ended Chelsea's 14-game unbeaten run under their new manager since taking over from Frank Lampard, and I expect the defence to return to their best, as previously they had conceded just two goals prior to the Baggies loss. Chelsea are now behind West Ham in the race for the coveted fourth spot and are currently 2.1 in the Top 4 Finish market.
Eagles edging closer to 40 point-mark
Roy Hodgson has all but secured another season in the Premier League with 38 points as they near the magical 40 figure, although safety is all but secured now and it can be deemed another success for the likeable former England manager.
Hodgson tends to approach games against the "bigger teams" with caution, as they like to sit back and defend deep with two banks of four as they don't have too much of a goal threat. We saw just that in the Everton 1-1, although the Toffees were far too profligate and failed to find that clinical edge.
That draw took Palace to three stalemates in their last five - so there's always the option of looking at the Draw No Bet with the Eagles.
Chelsea too short to back
There's not much joy in tipping and backing 1/2 chances, but I do expect a different Chelsea following the ragged performance against West Brom. After all, they did bounce back to record a comfortable success against Porto in the Champions League. That was more like it too as a defensive performance - their seventh clean sheet in Europe from nine matches.
I expect Mason Mount and Kai Havertz both to start having been left out against Sam Allardyce's team, and Mount could be the crucial player here to unlock a dogged Palace.
All roads point to an Under 2.5 game, and that doesn't look a bad price at 1.8. Palace at home against the bigger teams have secured a 0-0 with Manchester United, and 1-1s against Spurs and Leicester. While Chelsea have hit the Under mark six times for their last seven matches. Playing that way will certainly suit the hosts.
Can Werner find his form? Hopefully not
We had some success in laying Jamie Vardy at 2.1 recently with his goal drought, and we can do the same and strap on our laying boots with the misfiring Timo Werner.
The German is a class act and I am a big fan, but he has only scored two goals in 31 games for club and country and missed that high-profile sitter against Macedonia for Germany. Tuchel has urged him not to overthink and has supported the striker with some great comments and comparisons. However, it is clearly weighing on his mind and players can get caught in that mentality of not relaxing.
If we can get around 2.2 to 2.4 I am happy taking him on.
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