20:00 Friday

Friday night football doesn’t look the most glamourous to kick off the premier league weekend with two fairly defensive sides pitting their wits against each other under the lights at Selhurst Park. Both sides weren’t expected to trouble the top half of the table this season and survival will be the aim first and foremost. 

Roy Hodgson continues to do a steady job with his local club with 4 wins out of 9 this season so far and they remain unbeaten on home turf. That being said, they’re once again without talisman Wilfred Zaha here, the Ivorian international has accounted for 5 of their 11 goals this season. Not one other player in the squad has scored more than one goal and more worrying is that none have an expected goals tally of above one either. Luka Milivojevic remains suspended and James Tomkins isn’t yet 100% fit which are further blows to Hodgson.

Where is the value?

  Palace Draw Newcastle
Best Odds 7/5 9/4 28/11

Whilst Roy seems relatively safe in his job, the same can’t be said for Steve Bruce who is coming under increased pressure with every week his side lose. It’s a tough gig for anyone at Newcastle, personally I see little difference between his efforts and that of Rafa Benitez who was seen as the messiah on Tyneside. 

Their underlying performance data under Rafa wasn’t great and it’s still not brilliant but the games they have lost this season have been against Chelsea and Southampton who are in 3rd and 5th, Manchester United and Brighton. The latter was a dreadful performance but the others they we’re certainly not expected to win. Away from home they’ve bagged draws at Spurs and Wolves and won at West Ham. They’ve also beaten Burnley and Everton this campaign, not bad. The pressure is unfair, it’s not like he has a phenomenal squad to work with.

There’s very little to choose between these two and given the low scoring nature of both sides I fancy the draw, however the 9/4 price doesn’t look phenomenal. Instead I’ll back the 1-1 correct score at 6/1, it’s landed in half of Newcastle’s away games this season and Palace’s home game with Brighton. 

1-1 Correct Score - 1pt @ 6/1

I’ll also plump for a couple of big prices in the card markets. Jacob Murphy has been getting the nod at right midfield in the 5-4-1 and he’s been booked in 2 of his last 3 games. He will be tracking the excellent Eberechi Eze who always draws plenty of fouls, Matt Lowton was booked for a foul against him last week. He is fouled 4.4 times per 90 this season.

Jacob Murphy to be carded - 1pt @ 15/2

Nathaniel Clyne has come in at right-back this season for Palace after an injury-hit few years. Steve Bruce may opt to put Allan Saint-Maximin back out on the left wing and that could mean trouble for Clyne. He’s a big price at 15/2 for a caution given only three players I the entire league have drawn more fouls than ASM.

Nathaniel Clyne to be carded - 1pt @ 15/2