A cagey affair looks on the cards at Selhurst Park on the opening day.
Crystal Palace v West Brom - Saturday 15:00
Pardew’s Palace looked like they might push for Europe last season after a great first half of the season, but they won only two of their last 21 games to slide down to 15th. That was one place below Tony Pulis’ Baggies, who have recently been taking over by a Chinese consortium, with Far Eastern businessmen seemingly identifying the Midlands as the place to be after Villa and Wolves were the subject of similar bids.
The Eagles had a W6-D3-L10 record at home last season as they managed only six clean sheets, while Albion were good travelers as they lost just seven times. However, they weren’t great to watch as 14 of their 19 road games had fewer than three goals and Pulis is definitely a manager more interested in avoiding defeat than risking an open game.
Indeed, the draw was the most common outcome in the Baggies’ road games and since Palace drew the first half in 13 of their 19 home games last term, the Draw/Draw HT/FT result looks a good bet in what could be a cagey affair, with the 0-0 worth also backing.