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European qualification a genuine possibility for impressive Crystal Palace and West Ham

16 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
European qualification a genuine possibility for impressive Crystal Palace and West Ham

The Eagles are fourth after their best Premier League start, while the visiting Hammers sit sixth - a win on Saturday could take either second

The upper echelons of the Premier League has, for many years, appeared to be a closed shop, open only to those clubs with the deepest pockets.

With the occasional exception, the same sides have occupied the European places, but this season may be different.

Crystal Palace are flying in fourth after making their best-ever start to a Premier League campaign, Leicester City are fifth and, after replacing Sam Allardyce with Slaven Bilic, West Ham sit in sixth.

It would be a surprise if Leicester – relegation candidates for much of last season – are able to maintain their form, but Palace and West Ham might just have the necessary staying power.

Securing a Champions League spot is unrealistic, but Europa League qualification is a genuine possibility for both clubs.

They meet at Selhurst Park this weekend and a win could take either as high as second if other results go their way.

Palace are favourites at evens, but they will be wary of West Ham’s superb away record in attempting to get the three points.

Having only won three league games on the road last term, there has been a complete turnaround in the Hammers’ travels this season.

Bilic’s side have already beaten Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City on the road and came from two goals down to draw with Sunderland in their last outing.

West Ham are 11/4 to secure another away win on Saturday afternoon.

Much of their form is down to their exciting play going forward – only Manchester City (19) have scored more goals in the league than them (17) so far.

But the visitors will have to be at their best against a Palace defence that has conceded just seven goals.

Eagles boss Alan Pardew will no doubt be looking to get the better of his former club, too, and the home side are 6/4 to keep a clean sheet.

Playmaker Dimitri Payet could hold the key for West Ham.

The Frenchman has sparkled since arriving in the summer, scoring four goals in the top flight.

Payet has recently spoken of his frustration at being left out of his national team squad and is 9/1 to take it out on Palace by opening the scoring at Selhurst Park.

Yohan Cabaye was one of the midfielders included in Didier Deschamps’ selection ahead of Payet, and his intelligence and creativity in central areas has added a new dimension to the Eagles’ game.

The 29-year-old has also chipped in with a few goals and, after scoring in his last two appearances, is 3/1 to score at any time.

Like West Ham, Palace have also picked up more points away from home this season, where the speed and skill of Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha can be utilised on the counter.

Neither side has looked quite as effective when the onus has been on them to break down the opposition, though, meaning they could cancel each other out.

The match, therefore, is 5/2 to end in a draw.

Not that either will be content with a point when there is a chance to climb to second.

Crystal Palace v West Ham

Premier League betting

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