Roy Hodgson will return to football management on Saturday afternoon when he takes charge of Crystal Palace against Southampton at Selhurst Park.
The Eagles called time on Frank de Boer’s tenure as manager on Monday, with the Dutchman dismissed after just 77 days – and four Premier League matches – in charge of the south London club; Palace are pointless after their opening four games and they are the only team in the top four divisions of English football still to score a league goal this season.
Subsequently, Palace chairman Steve Parish has identified Hodgson as the man to revive the Eagles’ flagging fortunes and, given that the south Londoners face both Manchester clubs and Chelsea in their next three Premier League matches after meeting the Saints on Saturday, Palace will be hoping that the former England manager can make an immediate impact.
The 70-year-old boss is, of course, vastly experienced but more than five years have passed since Hodgson was involved in club management, and he has been out of work since departing his role with the Three Lions in the wake of the humiliating last 16 defeat at the hands of Iceland at last summer’s European Championships.
Even at this early stage of the season, defeat here would leave Palace in a perilous position and Genting go 2/1 (3.0) that Hodgson guides the Eagles to a vital victory in south London, while the same firm go 9/4 (3.25) that the match ends all square; Genting offer 6/4 (2.50) that Southampton spoil Hodgson’s return to football by claiming all three points from this fixture.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s charges have endured a stuttering start to the season so far and the Saints suffered their first Premier League loss of the season when they slumped to a dismal 2-0 defeat against Watford at St Mary’s last weekend.
The Saints have failed to find the net in four of their five competitive matches this term and Genting go 4/5 (1.80) that either side fails to find the net here – a selection that would have landed in eight of the 10 matches that these two teams have contested between them so far this season; Palace can be backed at 23/20 (2.15) to break the deadlock in this match – and, in the process, grab their first league goal of the campaign.
With both sides struggling in front of goal, punters may be tempted by the 6/1 (7.0) quote for no goals to be scored in this game – a selection that would have landed in two of the Saints’ four Premier League matches so far; the same firm go 7/5 (2.40) that the first half ends goalless.
A tight, tense tussle looks likely when these out-of-sorts rivals lock horns and, as such, it is Genting’s 7/4 (2.75) quote for fewer than two goals to be scored that could represent best value for punters ahead of Saturday’s showdown at Selhurst Park.
|Under 2.5 goals at 7/4 (2.75) for a 1pt stake with Genting|