Crystal Palace could have earned a draw at home to Tottenham before losing 1-0 and they took the lead at the Britannia Stadium before Stoke rallied to win 2-1, with manager Ian Holloway admitting that his side need to learn quickly in this division.
Holloway has endured a frustrating time of things as far as the transfer market is concerned, missing out on players such as Joey Barton and Darren Bent, although Marouane Chamakh was recently signed from Arsenal and scored on his debut last weekend.
Three points on the board are essential to help the players believe that they can survive at top-flight level and Coral make Palace marginal 8/5 favourites to win Saturday evening’s match, with Holloway having rested his entire first team for Tuesday’s League Cup defeat at Bristol City.
A repeat performance of the one against Tottenham at Selhurst Park could see the south London side register their first win of the season, with Dwight Gayle looking dangerous in attack and he should benefit from Chamakh’s ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play.
Gayle was often sensational in a Peterborough shirt last season and can be backed at 7/1 with Paddy Power to score the first goal of this game, while the Moroccan is a 15/2 chance with bet365 to break the deadlock against a Sunderland side that has one point on the board from their two opening matches.
Paolo Di Canio’s side were desperately close to a win at St Mary’s last weekend before Southampton scored a late equaliser, with the Black Cats having lost 1-0 at home to Fulham in their first match.
The Italian continues to draft in new players at the Stadium of Light as he reshapes his squad and Steven Fletcher is on the verge of returning to the first team, with the Scot an unused substitute on Tuesday night as Sunderland staged a late comeback to beat MK Dons 4-2.
Di Canio would have been encouraged by his team scoring a few goals against their League One opponents and that included Jozy Altidore’s first for his new club, with the American on offer at 7/1 to score first in this game.
The visitors are a 19/10 chance with bet365 to win at Selhurst Park and leave Palace still searching for their first points of the season, while a draw is on offer at 12/5 and could well be the value bet considering neither team are a compelling punting proposition at this early stage of the campaign.