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Crystal Palace v West Ham: Sakho could bring rare goals to this tie

| 22.08.2014

You would be hard pressed to find two more unfortunate sides in the Premier League last week than Crystal Palace and West Ham.

With events off the pitch taking centre stage at managerless Palace, it would be easy to think they were somewhat of a ‘crisis club’.

But the performance they put in at the Emirates last week was a credible one and a showing that would suggest they are far from ready to relinquish their Premier League status.

West Ham will be keen to bounce back after their heart-breaking injury time defeat to Tottenham. Travelling to Selhust Park Sam Allardyce will be desperate for his side to avoid back-to-back London derby defeats.

A number of nice bets stand out ahead of this clash in south London.

Under 2.5 Goals @ 11/20

Ok, it’s a fairly skinny price, but looking at the recent meetings between the two sides paints a clear picture.

Five out of the last six clashes between the Eagles and the Hammers has seen either one goal or none at all.

And with the well-worn cliché about Sam Allardyce’s style of football, you can never expect a free flowing goal fest where West Ham are involved at the moment.

With five of West Ham’s last six Premier League games going under 2.5 goals, this selection looks like approaching ‘banker’ material.

Crystal Palace to keep a clean sheet @ 13/8

Following on from the previous selection, the Hammers are simply not a high scoring side.

Their shut out against Spurs in their season opener was the fifth Premier League game in which they had failed to get on the scoresheet in their last six.

Andy Carroll’s absence has been well documented for the east London club, and although they have brought in reinforcements, a quality, fully-gelled front line has yet to be found.

Palace kept clean sheets at home to Chelsea, Everton and Aston Villa amongst others last season, so are more than capable of holding their own.

Diafra Sakho to score the last goal @ 7/1

Despite all that has been said about West Ham’s strike force, they could have uncovered a gem from the French second division.

Sakho scored 44 goals in 114 matches for Metz in the lower realms of French football, but is yet to be tested at the very top level.

As he hasn’t had much time to get to know his West Ham teammates, it is unlikely that he would be thrust into the starting line up on Saturday.

But he is sure to be on the bench, and could be introduced later in the match and could well be a man to salvage something late for the visitors.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.