Back Benteke to score again with Palace move already paying off
Christian Benteke has got off to a fine start as a Crystal Palace player, and the big Belgian is set to continue that all season long thanks to his cross-happy team-mates.
The big Belgian – who set a World Cup qualifying record by scoring inside seven seconds this week – joined the Selhurst Park outfit for £26m from Liverpool in the summer transfer window.
And it hasn’t taken long for the ex-Aston Villa man to settle, netting three times in his last four appearances for the Eagles.
More importantly, all three of those goals have been headers.
Palace struggled to score last season, but boss Alan Pardew has maintained his side’s ethos for pinging balls into the box, only this time, they have the ultimate target man.
Summer signing Andros Townsend – an effective replacement for the Everton-bound Yannick Bolasie – jointly tops this season’s Premier League crossing stats at 56.
That’s a solid eight crosses per game, while Jason Puncheon is third on the list with 51 flighted deliveries into the middle.
Between those two, Palace are averaging over 15 balls towards their robust forward every 90 minutes, and that’s without including Wilfried Zaha on the right flank.
It’s little wonder than that Palace have flown up the table since Benteke’s arrival.
Leicester City showed last season what can be achieved if the team all pulls in the same direction, and with three wins and two draws in their last five games, Palace are one of the form sides.
That’s great news for the south Londoners as they welcome fellow capital club West Ham to Selhurst on Saturday evening.
Given the Hammers’ woeful defensive record of late, Benteke will be relishing the prospect of taking on Slaven Bilic’s side.
Plus, ahead of the game we’re enhancing Benteke to score and Palace to win from 9/4 to 3/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing