The good news for Sunderland fans is that they are not playing this game at home.
Looking at Palace’s games since 2004/05 this is the shortest price they’ve ever been to win a Premier League match. In fairness this is probably the best team they’ve had in all that time and on current form Sunderland may also be one of the worst they’ve faced.
The Black Cats have lost nine of their last 13 games and picked up just one point from their seven away matches in that time. They’ve been close to the drop zone in previous seasons but at least they could generally point to a solid defence that allowed them to nick a few surprising points, but this term they can’t even do that as no team has conceded more.
There is some good news for Sunderland fans, however, and that is that at least they are not playing this game at home. For while Palace have won 10 of 14 matches on the road since Alan Pardew took over, their home record is a far less impressive W6-D2-L8. That is partly due to some tougher home fixtures in that time but it also reflects how their tactics tend to be more effective on the counter-attack. Only West Brom have had less possession than Sunderland this season so it looks like Palace will have to find a different way to break their opponents down. In fact Palace won just one of their home games against the bottom six last season, while losing three times, and Sunderland lost only four of their nine trips to teams that finished from 4th to 12th. They may have lost three of their four matches since Big Sam took over but they’ve conceded more than once in just one of those games and so we have to take Palace on at their current price by backing the Sunderland-Draw Double Chance at 8/5.
Along with Watford, Palace are the only other side yet to trail at half-time this season as their last 11 matches have all been level after 45 minutes. Eight of those have been goalless and if Sunderland can rediscover some of their defensive strength then we could be in for a low scoring match and a tight beginning. 15 of Sunderland’s 25 away games since the start of last season have been level at half-time and its 7/5 to happen again, or 21/10 to be goalless at the break.
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