Crystal Palace displayed their promotion credentials by thumping Ipswich 5-0 in Ian Holloway’s first match in charge.
The win allowed the Eagles to soar to the top of the Championship, leaving them 11/4 shots to gain promotion to the Premier League.
Holloway’s switch to Palace from Blackpool may have raised a few eyebrows amongst neutrals/Tangerine’s fans, but his expansive, attacking style of play is sure to have plenty of mouths watering on the Selhurst Park terraces.
Many expected the great run Dougie Freedman took them on to subside sooner rather than later, but now the Scot has moved on and the Palace hierarchy have brought in a much better coach to replace him, that conception could soon change, especially taking their most recent performance into account.
He received any amount of plaudits for his take-on-all-comers approach while in charge at Bloomfield Road yet, in the two games he’s been in his new role – albeit only one of them in the dugout – Palace have kept successive clean sheets, which bodes well for their promotion chances.
The way he sets his teams up means they’re always likely to fashion plenty of chances, but stopping the goals going in at the other end is not something you’d associate with a Holloway side – Blackpool have shipped 22 already this term.
The two clean sheets that have come about since his appointment at Palace have doubled the total number they’d managed all season and keeping Blackburn quiet, especially, is a commendable effort, given that only two teams had managed to do so prior to their 2-0 defeat on the Eagles’ patch.
Slamming five past Ipswich is no mean feat either, despite the fact that they’re not enjoying the best of times of late. They were sturdy enough to bag a 1-0 win at Birmingham in the previous match so they must have been doing something right defensively.
These two wins have taken Palace’s number of wins to nine from 12 games; unquestionably the form of promotion contenders. Their next two games are very winnable clashes at Peterborough before welcoming Derby to south London.
Win these two and they’re sure to open up a bit of breathing space at the Championship’s summit, which will see plenty of the air let out of their 11/4 promotion price.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date