CRYSTAL PALACE v HUDDERSFIELD – Pick 1 – 22 December 2012

Palace unbeaten in their last ten league matches on home turf

David Wright (Crystal Palace)

Football – England – Championship
Saturday 22nd December 2012 – Kick-off:  1720hrs

In the Championship’s late Saturday afternoon kickoff, I now feature second placed Crystal Palace who take on 17th placed Huddersfield Town at Selhurst Park with The Eagles keen to grab all three points on offer today to keep pace with league leaders Cardiff City.

Crystal Palace have been frustrated in recent matches being held to draws and earning solitary points against the likes of Hull City, Blackpool and perhaps most frustrating of all, Birmingham City last weekend in a 2-2 draw. However, they did see off Brighton 3-0 in a recent home match and they now have a good chance against Huddersfield who have struggled away from home in their recent trips.

Palace’s home record stands at a solid  7-3-1  29/14 and they’re unbeaten in their last ten league matches on home turf including four wins to nil against Blackburn Rovers (2-0), Ipswich Town (5-0), and Derby County & Brighton (both by a 3-0 score line) which spells trouble for a Huddersfield  side who struggle to keep clean sheets away from home but more on that in a minute.

Crystal Palace have also scored in each of their last thirteen home matches consecutively and again they hold a superior attacking force over today’s opponents which could well be exploited to its fullest if manager Ian Holloway has his way!

Huddersfield make the long trip down south to London on the back of yet another Championship defeat last weekend as The Terriers went down 0-2 at Hull City. It’s now six matches without a win on the road for the Yorkshire outfit and they will need to pick up points soon to avoid being embroiled in a relegation battle later on in the season.

Huddersfields away form stands at a shaky  4-2-5  12/18, and they’ve failed to score in three of their last five away matches, but what is a real concern is their failure to keep clean sheets away from home; just two clean sheets in their last fourteen away matches spells danger in my opinion as they search for something at Selhurst Park – they could well find a thrashing in store for them if they’re not careful.

I was tempted to back Palace with the AH-1 handicap but I’ve decided to go for the straight win instead for the hosts as its still attractively priced. Palace should win this easily though and I’ll go for a 2-1 score line which won’t reflect their dominance.

Pick: Crystal Palace straight win @ 1.80 Coral