Monday Night Football from the Premier League this week comes from Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace host Chelsea (20:00).
Roy Hodgson is desperate to get back to winning ways as the pressure mounts on him in the home dugout, while Mauricio Pochettino enjoyed a welcome cup win in midweek, after a difficult season. Below we’ve previewed this clash and put forward a couple of betting selections.
Palace are in the middle of an injury crisis to their key players. The decision to throw Michael Olise on at half-time against Brighton seriously backfired and his is now sidelined, along with Ebere Eze and Marc Guehi. Young starlet Jesurun Rak-Sakyi has a hamstring problem, and Joel Ward, Rob Holding and Chieck Doucoure are long-term absentees.
It means Adam Wharton and Matheus Franca could be handed starts by Hodgson, who will hope for some creativity without his exciting duo of Eze and Olise. For Chelsea, Benoit Badiashile may miss this one having come off injured in the FA Cup success at Aston Villa, with Thiago Silva likely to start in his place.
Levi Colwill has an outside chance of being involved while Raheem Sterling and Christopher Nkunku could remain on the bench after Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke shone in midweek. Reece James and Wesley Fofana are long-term absentees.
Crystal Palace are 18/5 to win this match, with Chelsea the favourites at 8/11. A draw is 3/1, BTTS is 8/11 and over 2.5 goals is 4/5.
Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals @ 13/8
Chelsea have conceded four goals in each of their last two Premier League matches, in two heavy defeats to Wolves and Liverpool respectively. But the mood has changed around Stamford Bridge this week after their best performance of the season came at Villa Park. They tore a strong Villa side apart, winning 3-1 to book their place in round five. Also in the Carabao Cup final, perhaps Chelsea are somewhat of a cup team this season.
However, with new confidence and a whole host of quality throughout the squad, I expect them to back up that cup win with another victory here. With Jackson, Sterling, Nkunku and Palmer, they should be able to tear apart a Palace side who have conceded 11 times in their last three outings. When you also consider the fact that they are without Eze, Olise and Guehi, it looks like it will be another tough night for Palace.
In terms of goals, there have been over 2.5 goals in all three of Crystal Palace’s last fixtures, and the same can be said of Chelsea. We should have a pretty spectacular MNF in store, with plenty of goals and ultimately, an away win.
Cole Palmer to score anytime @ 7/4
It’s clear Pochettino is a huge fan of Cole Palmer. The youngster is Chelsea’s top scorer, having scored ten goals in 20 Premier League matches this term. Despite the recent defeats, he’s also scored four times in the last four league games, and intriguing, started as the centre-forward at Villa Park with Jackson coming in off the left.
He’s without a doubt Chelsea’s most reliable attacker and as a result, I’m keen to back him to score anytime against a leaky Palace defence. It feels as though the Blues have turned a corner, and Palmer can lead them to another victory on the road here. The price of 7/4 seems like excellent value in my eyes.
Check out our other Football Betting Tips here.