It took a little while, but Crystal Palace bagged their first win of the season in Saturday’s visit to Middlesbrough, and what’s more, handed Eagles fans a perfect snapshot of what the year ahead may look like.
Wilfried Zaha’s beautifully flighted cross onto the head of Christian Benteke, and the big Belgian’s nod past Victor Valdes, swiftly vindicated Palace’s decision to splurge £30m on signing him from Liverpool.
It’s a sight Eagles fans should get used to this term, with boss Alan Pardew already showing he intends to play football in a manner which should allow Benteke to thrive just as he did in his Aston Villa days.
Palace sorely lacked a proven goalscorer last term, with no player in red and blue mustering more than five Premier League goals.
But that shouldn’t be a problem this time around.
Even if he doesn’t get on the scoresheet, Benteke’s presence up front alone is a boost for Palace, and the Belgian international’s two starts for the club have coincided with all four points the club have picked up so far this season.
Eager to kick-start his career following a dismal spell at Anfield, Benteke is 33/1 to be this season’s top scorer in the Premier League.
With Zaha and Andros Townsend to supply him week-in week-out, that could be a price worth considering sooner rather than later, while the return of Loic Remy in two months’ time could be a handy mid-season boost too.
Benteke will get his next chance to add to his Palace account when Stoke visit Selhurst Park next weekend, and it’s 20/21 that Palace pick up a second straight win of the season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.