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West Brom capable of surprising impressive Crystal Palace

02 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
West Brom capable of surprising impressive Crystal Palace

Baggies boss Tony Pulis returns to Selhurst Park in the Saturday lunch-time kick-off and will be aiming to get one over on his former side

“Tony has one way to play and it works pretty well,” said Crystal Palace defender Brede Hangeland when asked about the Premier League clash against West Brom and the club’s former boss.

It has been just over a year since Tony Pulis abruptly left Selhurst Park and, while he can be credited for securing Palace’s top-flight survival at the end of the 2013/14 season, there has been a huge change at the South London club in the past 13 months.

The Eagles have switched from the pragmatic approach of Pulis in favour of the fast-paced, all-guns-blazing football advocated by Alan Pardew.

It is working.

Twelve points from their opening seven league games is Palace’s best start to a Premier League season ever, but it is a style that faces an extremely tough test against the Baggies on Saturday.

The Baggies may have thrown away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at home to Everton earlier this week – the first time Pulis had suffered defeat from such a lead in his managerial career – but more often than not, their defence is difficult to play against.

And with the chance to get one up on his former club, Pulis will want to reaffirm that this weekend.

His reintegration of want-away striker Saido Berahino has also given West Brom another dimension in attack, especially alongside summer signing Saloman Rondon.

The duo are more than capable of causing trouble for Palace.

Both are 8/1 to score first and 7/2 to do so at any time, while the Baggies are 7/2 to take three points from their travels.

It seems the expectation is on Palace to supply the goals, though.

Their nine league goals in the ‘for’ column is hardly the best return in the top flight, but the spread of goals is a good indication as to where the chances will come from.

While Palace’s strikers have drawn a blank so far, it has been midfield that has provided the real fire-power.

Wide men Bakary Sako (5/2 to score anytime) and Wilfried Zaha (7/2) have proven their threat down the wings and across the front line, while Yohan Cabaye’s (7/2) arrival from deep has been tricky to track for a lot of opposition sides.

The return of Dwight Gayle from the wilderness could remedy that, however.

The striker was close to leaving Palace during the summer in a £9m move to Bristol City, but his decision to remain in London might just prove to be a blessing for Pardew.

Gayle was sharp against Watford last time out and his knack for being in the right place makes him an intriguing choice for first scorer at 5/1.

But it is hard to look past the 24-year-old to score any time in a Palace win at 23/10.

Wherever the goals come from, there is little doubt that Palace come into this one as favourites (5/6).

But as Pulis has proven time and again, even his sides are capable of the odd surprise.

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