Adam Baylis believes Huddersfield may have been underestimated going into the new season and can leave Selhurst Park with at least a point...
"Both Tom Ince and former Montepellier man Steve Mounie have already furnished fans dreams of Premier League safety combining for nearly ten goals in pre-season while Fulham’s Scott Malone will add some much-needed steel at the back"
Crystal Palace v Huddersfield Town
Wagner's new acquisitions will be out to impress
April 1972 was the last time Huddersfield tasted the heady heights of the top-flight when they played out a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park; 45 years on they return with reason for optimism.
The Terriers have made no less than six acquisitions with more reportedly on the way. Both Tom Ince and former Montepellier man Steve Mounie have already furnished fans dreams of Premier League safety combining for nearly ten goals in pre-season while Fulham's Scott Malone will add some much-needed steel at the back.
Palace remain largely unchanged from last season with the only arrivals limited to Ruben Loftus-Cheek who will slot straight into the middle of the park and Jairo Riedewald, who new manager Frank De Boer knows all about from their time together at Ajax. Timothy Fosu-Mensah has joined on loan from Man Utd this week but will likely start on the bench.
Market underestimates Terriers top-flight credentials
At [5.2] it's possible that Huddersfield are being a touch underestimated in this opening fixture. Promoted sides have a habit of carrying on where they left off in the Championship in the early weeks of the season and have every chance of spoiling the welcome party for Frank de Boer.
On paper, the threat Crystal Palace [1.85] carry through Zaha, Townsend and Benteke is sizeable but they haven't gelled incredibly well during pre-season and it may take a few more weeks under De Boer's tutelage to really hit top gear.
Defensively they weren't spectacular last year and further to that, De Boer has been using a 3-4-3 formation in recent friendlies to get the most out of Patrick van Aanholt and Jeff Schlupp which could leave them open on the break.
For Huddersfield, a lot will depend on how the raft of new signings have bedded in but they've had a pretty productive pre-season and if Ince & Mounie can continue that form, they'll have a good chance of taking something away from Selhurst Park. The Terriers have it all to prove but I think they'll do just that so advise backing The Draw at [3.7].
Based on pre-season evidence, expect goals
It was the Eagles ability to find the net last season that kept them away from the relegation battle but they shipped no less than 63 goals and unless Riedewald can have an instant impact that trend could continue.
Meanwhile Huddersfield haven't been goal-shy in pre-season scoring 13 times; they'll also have a real point to prove on their first outing in the league so over 2.5 goals at [2.12] looks the way to go.
Mounie can pick up where he left off in France
While many will be pre-occupied with Messieurs Benteke and Zaha when it comes to the goalscorer markets, I think the 7/2 available with the Betfair Sportsbook for Steve Mounie to score anytime is great value.
He netted no less than 14 times for Montpellier last season and his form hasn't dropped off since joining The Terriers; in addition, at 6ft 3, he provides a major threat from set-pieces.
Moss' track record of controversy to continue?
Jon Moss has been handed the officiating responsibilities for this opening day encounter and the best either side can hope for is that he's spent some time in the classroom over the summer.
Last year he was found to have made more game-deciding decisions than any other referee (13 in 22) and was noted by a group of former officials to have made a league leading 84 'fundamental' errors. In turn, it's worth concentrating on at least 30 - 40 bookings points.
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