Andrew Atherley rates attack-minded Palace good value against the low-scoring visitors on Saturday...
"The Clarets rank sixth on away form with a record of W4 D5 L2 but they remain a low-scoring side and Palace's potent home attack is likely to make things tough."
Back Crystal Palace to win at [2.04]
C Palace v Burnley
Saturday 13 January, 15:00
Palace's exit from the FA Cup in a 2-1 defeat at bitter rivals Brighton is unlikely to bother Roy Hodgson unduly, as his mantra since becoming manager in September has been that the relegation fight would last all season and now all efforts can be concentrated there.
Hodgson has managed a remarkable turnaround since taking over with Palace rooted to the bottom after losing their first four matches. He lost his first three games (two of them away in Manchester) but since then Palace have been defeated only three times in 15 matches and are now 14th, two points above the relegation zone.
Andros Townsend and Jeff Schlupp are expected to miss this match after picking up injuries in the FA Cup tie. Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains unfit.
Best of the rest
Burnley also went out of the FA Cup, taking the lead at Manchester City but ultimately losing 4-1, and they can now focus on their unlikely push for Europe.
Sean Dyche's side are seventh in the table, leading the race to be 'best of the rest' bar the big six by a margin of four points from eighth-placed Leicester.
Scott Arfield, reportedly the subject of transfer interest, faces a fitness test on a tight hamstring. Chris Wood, Stephen Ward, Robbie Brady and Tom Heaton are out.
The table says this match is bottom half v top half but Palace's start to the season was so bad - and their subsequent turnaround so good - that Hodgson's side are in a false position.
In the 18 games since Hodgson took charge, Palace rank 10th. If we take only the second half of that period (the last nine games), Palace's gathering momentum becomes more obvious as they rank ninth. Burnley, by comparison, are eighth and 11th on those two measures.
That puts the two teams close on form and arguably Palace have moved ahead, plus they have home advantage here.
Hodgson also has the greater attacking weapons, with Palace having scored two goals in every home game under the current boss bar the first one (a 1-0 defeat by Southampton) and the most recent (a goalless draw with Manchester City).
Burnley will aim to be solid and hard to beat, a formula that has worked enough times on the road this season for them to be feared by anyone.
The Clarets rank sixth on away form with a record of W4 D5 L2 but they remain a low-scoring side and Palace's potent home attack is likely to make things tough.
The importance of a clean sheet is clear from Burnley's record of W1 D2 L6 in their last nine games (home and away) when conceding.
Given Palace's home scoring record under Hodgson, the hosts look decent value at [2.04].
Selhurst a place for goals
The two teams are at odds on the scoring front and it's a question of whether Palace's higher goals tallies at home will outweigh Burnley's defensive capabilities.
Overall Burnley are joint-top for matches with under 2.5 goals (73%, falling slightly to 64% away).
Palace are middle-ranking overall (55% over 2.5 goals) but the figure rises at Selhurst Park, with seven of their nine home games under Hodgson having over 2.5 goals (78%).
The odds are heavily influenced by Burnley's obduracy and over 2.5 goals might be overpriced at [2.48].
Michael Oliver was also ref for the reverse fixture, a 1-0 win for Burnley when Frank de Boer was still manager at Palace, and issued two yellow cards. He has been in charge of 18 matches, the most in the Premier League this season, and averages 44 bookings points per game.
Crystal Palace have picked up just one win in their last six league encounters with Burnley (W1 D1 L4) - failing to score in four of those games. Burnley are [6.4] to win to nil.
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Staked: 23 pts
Returned: 29.77 pts
P/L: +6.77 pts
Back Crystal Palace to win at [2.04]