Since Ian Hollway arrived at Selhurst Park, his Crystal Palace side have struggled to put together any real meaningful run of form. They’ve been unable to find those four or five consecutive wins which would see them challenging for the top spot (currently 10 points behind Cardiff) as they had been for much of the first half of the season. Instead they have fallen away slightly; although they are still in contention for second placed and very much in the mix for the playoffs. They have not won back to back league games since Holloway’s first two games in charge and it’s that inconsistency which could cost them dear come May.
I have finally conceded that my ante-post selection for Bolton to win the Championship is probably going to go down as a loser – and I have accepted that, just! However I still have the faintest of hopes that they can pull off the unthinkable and reach the play-offs. Currently 10 points behind sixth placed Watford, Dougie Freedman and his players certainly have it all to do but I’m convinced they have the quality to go very close to securing a top six position. In order to do that, they have to start winning games on a regular basis and that means more than their current performance of one win in five.
There are just under two weeks left of the transfer window and for Crystal Palace fans it will feel like an eternity. Wilfred Zaha has been the subject of strong interest from both Arsenal and Manchester United with managers of both those clubs both confirming that he is on their radar. Holloway has already stated that he doesn’t want to lose his star players in this window as it would seriously affect his side’s chance of winning promotion. He may well get a taste of life without Zaha sooner than expected as he is struggling with an injury picked up in midweek.
Bolton fans must have been tearing their hair out on Tuesday evening despite an impressive 2-0 success away to Sunderland in the FA Cup third round replay. As much as it was an excellent win and they will be delighted to progress, it highlights how much of a disappointment they have been for this season. The Bolton squad remains full of international players and others with huge potential but they have simply failed for the majority of the campaign to date. There’s still time for them to turn that around but they need to get their act together now returned to league business.
I think this fixture has the potential to go either way as there are match winners on both sides. A draw doesn’t really do either side many favours and because of that I expect the two managers to stick with their philosophy of going to win the match. Of course, it takes on added spice as Freedman left Palace to join Bolton earlier in the season and I think his return to Selhurst Park will see a few goals scored.
Over 2.5 goals 3/4 @ BetVictor