The January Transfer Window is closed and clubs have to now go with what they've got, but our man Mike Norman believes one deadline day signing can help his new club to a precious three points on Saturday afternoon...
"Fulham are the only club without a single league win on the road this season, they've collected just two points from a possible 36, they've conceded more goals on their travels than any other side, and they have the worst goal difference."
Back Crystal Palace @ [2.1] to beat Fulham (best bet)
Eagles to pull away from danger zone
Crystal Palace [2.1] v Fulham [4.0]; The Draw [3.5]
It's easy to forget that Crystal Palace are still in danger towards the bottom of the table but the reality is that they are one of three clubs level on 23 points, immediately above 18th-placed Cardiff. They have a four-point cushion over the Bluebirds, and they have a better goal difference than Southampton and Burnley, but they won't be taking anything for granted at Selhurst Park.
I feel that Palace's home form is going to be crucial between now and the end of the season, and a game in front of their own fans against second bottom Fulham really does present a good chance for Roy Hodgson's men to move away from the drop zone.
Palace haven't exactly set the world alight at Selhurst Park this season, but there's no reason why a team that can win away at Manchester City, score three at Anfield, and comfortably win at Wolves shouldn't be able to perform just as well on home soil.
Those away performances mentioned above have all come within recent months, while the Eagles have also won three home games in that period, beating Spurs and Grimsby without conceding in the FA Cup and also beating Leicester to nil without Wilfried Zaha. Zaha is suspended for this game, but given how well Palace defend on home soil I'm not too worried about that. A single goal may well win this, and deadline day signing Michy Batshuayi will only enhance Palace's chances of getting it.
The Cottagers should be full of confidence after coming from behind and scoring four second half goals to beat Brighton in midweek, but we shouldn't forget how poor the Seagulls are away from home and a win for Claudio Ranieri's men in that game was probably expected, if not the manner of it.
The harsh reality is that Fulham are by some distance the worst away team in the Premier League. They are the only club without a single league win on the road this season, they've collected just two points from a possible 36, they've conceded more goals on their travels than any other side, and they have the worst goal difference.
I can't help but feel that that Palace are a cracking price at [2.1] to win this, even without their star man.
Terriers to show some bite at the Bridge
Chelsea [1.22] v Huddersfield [19.0]; The Draw [7.6]
It will be interesting to see how Chelsea bounce back from their 4-0 humiliation at Bournemouth in midweek, and the subsequent admission by Maurizio Sarri that perhaps he's unable to motivate his players sufficiently.
The cracks were starting to appear well before the defeat by the Cherries however, and I sense all is not well at Stamford Bridge. Just a few weeks ago Sarri publicly questioned how determined some of his players are, including Eden Hazard, and if the manager is starting to cause a bit of friction between himself and his players then we all know it doesn't usually end well. Especially at Chelsea.
The Blues have lost four of their last 11 matches, including a home defeat to Leicester, and they failed to score a goal in five of those matches. Hazard himself has gone off the boil; after scoring 10 goals in his opening 12 games this season, he's since scored just five times in 24 appearances for club and country. When the brilliant Belgian fails to tick, more often than not do the players around him.
It will take a brave man to think that these Chelsea players have collectively agreed to show everyone just how determined they are, and how well Sarri motivates them, especially for a home game against Huddersfield. It will take an even braver man to put complete faith in this Chelsea team at odds of just [1.22] to take all three points.
Huddersfield look absolutely dead and buried at the bottom of the table, and that's simply because they are not good enough at this level; they struggle to score goals and they can't stop conceding. Not a great combination. But resigning themselves to relegation might just relieve a bit of pressure, and I fancy they won't be lambs to the slaughter at the Bridge on Saturday.
The Terriers performed very well in a narrow midweek defeat to Everton, and with a few more days to implement his ideas new boss Jan Siewert might see a bit more improvement this weekend.
It takes a big leap of faith to say that Huddersfield can go to Chelsea and win, or even avoid defeat, but you sense that they're meeting the Blues at a good time and therefore backing them on the +2 handicap at [2.5] should give us a good run for our money.
Goals expected at Goodison Park
Everton [2.36] v Wolves [3.5]; The Draw [3.4]
Without looking at any stats, trends, or head-to-heads, my first impression is that Over 2.5 Goals is very well priced here at [2.14]. Everton can't defend but score plenty, Wolves can blow hot and cold but are very good on their day. That's the thinking off the top of my head. Do the numbers back-up my thinking?
Head-to-head wise we have very little to go on as these two sides have met just once in the last seven years. That meeting was earlier this season however and the game ended 2-2, so we'll take that. First tick in the box.
Do the Toffees struggle to defend but score plenty also? An argument can be made either way. A four-game run around Christmas saw Everton games end 2-2, 3-1, 2-6, 1-5. That's an average of 5.5 goals per game during that time. Marco Silva's men have since played out games that have finished 2-1 (twice) and 3-2, so we can easily claim another tick in the box, even allowing for four of Everton's last seven games finishing with fewer than three goals being scored.
Wolves blowing hot and cold is a very accurate assessment if looking at their last 14 games; seven wins, two draw, five defeats. But if we're looking to put another tick in the box then just consider Wolves' seven victories in this spell; they scored 18 goals in those wins with six of the seven games ending with Over 2.5 Goals paying out.
Looking at very recent results, all of Wolves' last five games have witnessed at least thee goals while five of their last six away matches have ended this way.
I think we've got more than enough evidence here to confirm my initial thinking that Over 2.5 Goals looks a very decent price at [2.14].
You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73
Mike's 2018/19 Season P/L:
Staked: 80 pts
Returned: 83.69 pts
P/L: +3.69 pts
- 2017/18 P/L = +20.09 pts from 128 pts staked (15.69% ROI)
- 2016/17 P/L = +42.63 pts from 160 pts staked (26.64% ROI)
- 2015/16 P/L = +14.99 pts from 234 pts staked (6.4% ROI)
- 2014/15 P/L = +35.30 pts from 215 pts staked (16.42% ROI)
Back Crystal Palace @ [2.1] to beat Fulham (best bet)
Back Huddersfield +2 @ [2.5] v Chelsea
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ [2.14] in Everton v Wolves