Selhurst Park has a reputation for producing low-scoring games but there are plenty of reasons to believe the trend will be bucked when Palace host Bournemouth.
Injuries are mounting up for Palace at the back with Gary Cahill, Joel Ward and Scott Dann all ruled out. They did manage a clean sheet at Burnley on Saturday but the hosts missed some good chances and an attack-minded Bournemouth side should cause them problems.
The Cherries also have issues at the back, namely keeping goals out. They’ve shipped seven in their last three games, all of which have been lost, and it’s now just one win in nine for Eddie Howe’s men.
It’s not difficult to envisage both teams scoring at 4/5, while it could also pay to go big on goals – over 3.5 looks tempting at 13/5 with Wilfried Zaha in form and Callum Wilson always a goal threat for the visitors. It is something which has occurred in three of the last four meetings.
It is also worth focusing on a one particular battle – Zaha’s likely duel with Bournemouth right-back Simon Francis, who is available again after suspension (as too is Philip Billing).
The pair clashed last year when accusations of diving were thrown in Zaha’s direction and with the winger finding his best form of the season, Francis could be in for a tough time.
He’s started just once in the league this season – and was sent off in that game – so he’s likely to be a bit rusty and the tricky footwork and dribbling of Zaha isn’t something you want to face in that situation.
Francis is 9/2 to receive a card from ref Anthony Taylor – the strictest official this season in terms of cards shown – which looks fair enough, while Zaha at 7/2 may also warrant support in the market.
He often gets frustrated when regularly fouled and his history with Francis, plus the fact he’s been booked in three of last four games against Bournemouth at Selhurst, suggests he’s worth an interest.
Over 3.5 goals – 13/5 with Paddy Power
Simon Francis to be carded – 9/2 with bet365
Wilfried Zaha to be carded – 7/2 with 888sport
All prices correct at time of writing and are subject to change
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