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Stoke City v Crystal Palace: Eagles to take flight

| 23.08.2013

Stoke and Crystal Palace both began the campaign with narrow 1-0 losses to Champions League contenders, but they might have viewed this match as the real start to their season when the fixtures were announced.

Palace struggled to cope with the tenacity of a new look Spurs side, but with their own signings bedding into the side, they could spring a surprise at Stoke, and are a good bet at 7/2 to win.

Stoke have won just three matches in 2013, beating Reading and Norwich at the Britannia, and QPR away from home, and showed little sign of improvement at Liverpool.

They could count themselves unlucky not to draw when Simon Mignolet saved a late penalty – although if you keep allowing Jonathan Walters to take penalties you make your own bed – but if not for Asmir Begovic’s earlier heroics it would have been immaterial.

The Eagles started with Aaron Wilbraham up front against Spurs, but the 33-year-old looked out of his depth in the Premier League, and Marouane Chamakh will surely take his place at the Britannia.

The much maligned Moroccan was lively in his cameo appearance against Spurs, and could be worth backing to open the scoring against Stoke at 8/1.

Stoke are still reliant on Peter Crouch, who scored just seven league goals last season, and only three since October 2012.

Crouch can be backed to score any time at 5/4, and if you fancy Walters to find his form in front of goal he is priced at 7/4.

With just seven shots on target between them on the opening weekend, a 0-0 draw is also a tempting bet at a price of 7/1.

It is too early to be talking about relegation battles, but Stoke and Palace will both be desperate to get their first points of the season, and the Eagles could pick up a priceless away win.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Fortune