Crystal Palace-Birmingham City Betting Preview: Holloway's hosts can get title tilt back on track

Ian Holloway's men are in the hunt for an automatic promotion place and Willie Duncan is backing the Eagles to get the better of the Blues when they meet at Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace suffered a blow in their push for a place in the top two in the last round of fixtures when they crashed to a 3-0 defeat against Brighton, and Ian Holloway’s men will be eager to bounce back in style when they welcome mid-table Birmingham City to Selhurst Park on Friday afternoon.

The Eagles will be desperate to put the setback that they suffered against Brighton firmly behind them and they are chalked up as Bet365’s 4/5 (1.80) favourites to get the better of the Blues here.

Birmingham have endured a mediocre season thus far marred by inconsistent performances but, on their day, the Blues are capable of beating anyone in the Championship and they can be backed at 100/30 (4.33) with Bet365 to claim all three points from their visit to Selhurst Park, while the same firm go 13/5 (3.60) that the match ends level.

Palace striker Glenn Murray, who has bagged 30 goals for the Eagles so far this season, is chalked up as Bet365’s 3/1 (4.0) favourite to bag the opener on Friday, while veteran striker Kevin Phillips is available at a juicy 9/2 (5.50), with the same firm to build upon the good start that he has made to his Crystal Palace career by breaking the deadlock against his former club.

Another intriguing prospect for manager Ian Holloway is Aruna Dindane.  The former Portsmouth striker, who joined Crystal Palace in midweek, is chalked up at 6/1 (7.0) with Bet365 to open the scoring against the Blues.

For Lee Clark’s men, Serbian striker Nikola Zigic is expected to lead the line again in the absence of top scorer Marlon King and the 32-year-old front man is rated as a chunky 9/1 (10.0) chance with Bet365 to net the opening goal of the game.

The onus, though, is on Palace to put on a performance to show that they are serious contenders in the race for promotion to the Premier League and, subsequently, Bet365’s generous 4/5 (1.80) quote on the Eagles enjoying a home victory should be snapped up, while the same firm’s 3/1 (4.0) quote for the prolific Glenn Murray to score first is the value selection here.

Crystal Palace to win at 4/5 (1.80) with Bet365
Glenn Murray to score first at 3/1 (4.0) with Bet365

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter