Crystal Palace v Norwich
Unconvincing Palace opposable at home
After six games of the new Premier League season, Crystal Palace sit 12th with eight points (W2 D2 L2). The 2-1 win at Old Trafford has been their highlight, but it's hard to determine their worst result. They were toothless away at Sheffield United in their second game, where they lost 1-0, and they were largely uncompetitive when getting beat 4-0 away at Spurs a fortnight ago, but after the last two seasons, manager, Roy Hodgson, will be happy enough by his sides start. It took Palace until the end of October to accrue eight points last season and until the end of November the season before.
It's now two years since Hodgson took the reins after Palace's dreadful start to the 2017/18 season, when they lost their first seven games, and the oldest manager in Premier League history, has used all his guile and experience to tighten up the Eagles since.
Hodgson stopped the goals going in but as a result, Palace are hardly a free-scoring side themselves. In the 2017/18 season, despite the poor start, Palace finished a very respectable 11th and they did win slightly more points at home than they did away but they were closer to the Premier League Points Average away from home than they were at Selhurst Park and they were a far better side away than they were at home last season.
Palace picked up only 20 points at Selhurst Park last season. That was the same number of points won at home as relegated Cardiff and bottom club, Huddersfield, were the only team to pick up less points at home
After a strong finish to last season, Palace are actually unbeaten in their last five Premier League games at Selhurst Park but if we include their loss to Colchester on penalties in the League Cup last month, this season's efforts aren't great and they've scored just twice in four games. Their sole victory (1-0) came against an Aston Villa side reduced to ten men for the bulk of the second half and they failed to hold on against Wolves last week (1-1), despite the visitors again being having a man sent off. I'm in no rush to side with them at around even money.
Norwich value to bounce back
Norwich won the Championship by five points over Sheffield United last season, with Leeds a further six points back in third and they lost just one of their last 21 games (away at Preston), so it was perhaps not that surprising that they gave a good account of themselves in a tricky opening fixture, away at Liverpool, when the 4-1 score line flattered the hosts.
That was followed by a comfortable 3-1 win at home to Newcastle and a narrow 3-2 defeat to Chelsea at Carrow Road. West Ham then beat them 2-0 at the London Stadium but Todd Cantwell headed over form a yard out at 1-0 and the Canaries had 52% of the possession so they certainly weren't beaten comfortably.
Very few would have predicted Norwich's brilliant 3-2 win against the champions, Manchester City, at Carrow Road two weeks ago but it was a victory they deserved and one not to be dismissed as some kind of fluke.
Norwich again dominated possession away from home last week, this time at Turf Moor (59%) against Burnley, but two early Chris Wood goals divided the two sides at full time and that result could arguably be considered their most disappointing of the season so far, given the result against City the week before.
It's perfectly possible that the Canaries were suffering a bit of a hangover after their unlikely triumph against City and I can see them bouncing back nicely here.
Keep it simple and cash in on the Canaries
Given there's been just three goals scored in the three Premier League games played at Selhurst Park this season, and that the League Cup tie there ended 0-0, the odds-against for Under 2 ½ Goals in the Under/Over 2 ½ Goals market looks good at first glance but with Teemu Pukki banging them in for fun again for Norwich, the average might get bumped up a bit on Saturday.
The Finish hot-shot notched 29 times in the Championship last season and he's already bagged six goals in the Premier League so the industry-best 17/10 on offer with the Sportsbook about him scoring at any time on Saturday looks very fair.
Whether Pukki scores or not, it may be worth chancing an early goal in the game as Norwich's six Premier League matches this season have seen 12 goals scored in the opening 30 minutes of the match (four goals scored, eight goals conceded) - no side has seen more in this time (Manchester City also 12). The Sportsbook go 16/5 about the first goal arriving in the first ten minutes and 7/2 about 11-20 minutes but I'm going to keep things simple and side with the visitors in two different markets.
With such a poor recent record at home, I was quite tempted to lay Palace at around evens in the outright market but instead I'm backing Norwich at 4.1 in the outright market and at around 2/1 in the Draw no Bet market.