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Crystal Palace v Newcastle: Pulis’ Palace revival gathers pace

| 20.12.2013

Tony Pulis’ Crystal Palace escape plan is riddled with all the ingenuity and audacity that would turn John Dillinger an envious shade of green. Unfortunately for the Toon, stage five of this 26-point scheme involves squeezing a point or three from Newcastle.

Palace’s odds for victory stand at a generous 21/10, especially when you consider that they’ve won both of their last two games at Selhurst Park and haven’t conceded in three games.

In opposition, Newcastle’s odds weigh in at 13/10, with the draw a 9/4 alternative.

The chances of Palace elongating their run of home-based clean sheets will come under its greatest threat since their spell of defensive leanness began, with Swansea the only host since the opening day of the season to stop the Magpies scoring on the road.

A price of 5/2 for the Toon to finish the match with a bagel sitting below their name on the scoreboard may appeal to some, but it’d be best advised to swerve it.

Instead, a punt on fewer than 2.5 total goals being registered takes preference at odds of 7/10.

No less than seven of Palace’s last eight in all competitions have failed to meet this mark, while two of Newcastle’s previous three away games have also complied with this trend.

Another bet that may appeal based on the recent activity of the Eagles is that only one or neither side finds the back of the net. Prior to their 2-1 defeat at Chelsea last time out, they had gone seven successive games ensuring backers of this outcome were in the black when the final whistle was blown.

A final thing to consider, though entirely superficial it may be, is that Newcastle and their ever-morphing identity are producing similar standards of football that brought them a fifth-place finish in the Premier League two seasons ago. The year in question – 2011/12 – Alan Pardew’s men got the better of Pulis’ Stoke home and away.

Sentiments of this successful Toon campaign are echoed in the fact that Palace are now very much a Pulis machine, a machine which Pardew possesses the instructions to shut down.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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James Middleton