Premier League Picks for Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:23 PM GMT

After Chelsea unapologetically manhandled Arsené Wenger and Co. on the manager’s 1000th game with the club, soccer bettors are probably wondering what’s in store for Crystal Palace, a side desperate to avoid relegation. If the soccer odds were any indication, the prognosis isn’t good at all.

Crystal Palace severely disadvantaged
Crystal Palace host Chelsea in week 32 of EPL betting without the usual courtesy afforded a home side. Listed at +550 soccer odds to win outright at Bet365, the hosts are essentially written off across sportsbooks, a happenstance that is down to both their own struggles in the league as well as the top quality of their opponents.

Indeed, Tony Pulis and Co. will have all to do to just keep pace with the Blues, never mind beating them. The way the Blues disembowelled Arsenal at the weekend, unapologetically manhandling their midfield to runaway 6-0 winners at Stamford Bridge, was terrifying, not to mention utterly unexpected by soccer pundits and bettors alike despite the generous betting lines.

Although Arsenal fans (even Arsené himself) would point to the injury list, which included Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Mesut Özil and Jack Wilshere, citing their absence as raison d'être for the lopsided affair. Critics would point to Arsene Wenger’s tactical judgement (or increasingly lack thereof) against the top set in the league, which repeatedly sees the Gunners sent to their knees.  Meanwhile, neutrals and blind optimists alike – in an effort to keep the peace between those in either above camp – would delicately shrug their shoulders, offering these appeasing pearls: it was perhaps just one of those days where everything went right for one side and wrong for the other.  

No matter which way you slice it, it was a gauntlet throwing performance by the Special One’s lads that redlined their claim to the Premier League title this season, matched across sportsbooks at +163 soccer odds or thereabouts. 

The Eagles, nesting in the nether regions of the table and flailing helplessly in an attempt to lift off, have to be somewhat concerned and wary about the Blues’ imminent visit. They are 17th in the table, just three points clear of the drop zone. Another defeat would be costly indeed.

In their last six home fixtures they are 3-1-2; the most recent results included back-to-back defeats to Man U and Southampton. Meanwhile, overall form in recent weeks make for worse reading, winless in the month of March with a 0-2-2 mark (home and away), arguably the draws to bottom stragglers Sunderland and Swansea City were most costly.

 

Chelsea hot to trot
Sportsbooks send Chelsea into their away engagement at Crystal Palace as the hot favourites at -225 to win outright, a sports betting stance that nobody is about to find fault with at all surely.

Without waxing lyrical overly, form has been absolutely brilliant of late. The Blues have won four of their five fixtures across all competitions this month – the only wrinkle the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa that is looking more and more like an anomaly with each passing week. Over this stretch they’ve pulled off three clean sheets, scored 15 goals and conceded just two. Away form in their last six across all competitions is a modest 2-2-2 but let’s not nitpick. Besides, with a Champions League match in Istanbul, an FA Cup clash as well as league fixture against Man City, amongst several others, something was bound to give. They are human after all.

Regardless Chelsea stride the Premier League with a 21-6-4 mark and 69 points. They are four points clear of Liverpool and six points clear of Man City, both main rivals in the title race and both of which have a game or two in hand. You could say the premium on a win over Crystal Palace correlates to their bid for the title. Therefore, this is a must win game in order to stay ahead in the race.

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Soccer Betting Verdict
Crystal Palace would do well to take a page from Arsené’s strategy and tactics last week and study it thoroughly. And then do the complete opposite. Defence. Defence. Defence has to be THE emphasis on the day if they are to have a sliver of hope against Chelsea. Of course, it’s all about performance, how well they execute it at the end of the day. Most would have it a fait accompli on their soccer picksa Chelsea win at -225 soccer odds at Bet365. But if they can somehow supremely resist a brutal Chelsea onslaught in order to succumb to a respectable 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 defeat (matched at +500, +600 and +750 soccer odds at Bet365 respectively), small consolation it would be but a mini-accomplishment nonetheless in the wake of the massacre that was at Stamford Bridge.

Soccer Free Picks: Chelsea to win outright at -225 and by 2-1 at +750 at Bet365