Cash-strapped Crystal Palace were put up for sale in the Financial Times this week, as the search for potential buyers for the financially stricken club continues.
The Eagles recently went into administration and were subsequently docked ten Championship points, which effectively put paid to their play-off push but the club’s victory against Wolves in the FA Cup fourth round, punctured the Selhurst Park gloom a touch and a televised fifth round clash with Aston Villa on Sunday will provide a shot in the arm, where Palace’s coffers are concerned.
Further cup progress would be a huge boost then, however, Villa aren’t expected to be sympathetic to the plight of the South London outfit; Victor Chandler making them odds-on at 5/6 to eliminate Neil Warnock’s troops.
Online firm 888Sport, rate Palace at 4/1 to cause an upset and Partybets price them at 5/2 to earn a money-spinning replay at Villa Park but sadly for the Eagles, it’s Martin O’Neill’s men that look set to plot a route into the last eight.
Nevertheless, a galvanised Palace can ensure it’s a tight affair and so the value arguably lies with an away victory by a one-goal margin, available with bet365 at odds of 13/5, although the cautious might wish to guard against the draw by simply backing the Premiership side at 1/3 (888Sport) to qualify from the tie.
Elsewhere, Betdaq’s 7/1 for the visitors to shade it 2-1, catches the eye given the potential for a close encounter and similarly Villa may take a while to make their extra class tell, meaning that a strong case can be made for Stan James’ 10/3; posted against a win for O’Neill’s charges following on from an even first period.
Gabriel Agbonlahor meanwhile, is Ladbrokes’ 9/2 favourite to notch first but Villa may make the breakthrough via a set-piece or by utilising their aerial presence and so Paddy Power’s 5/1 for John Carew to break the deadlock possesses marginally more appeal.
Chelsea are the current cup favourites at 8/5 courtesy of Jaxx.com and the Blues should capitalize on the fact that they’ve been handed a home draw, by seeing off the threat posed by Cardiff City.
Betfred quote Carlo Ancelotti’s side at 1/6 to come out on top but with that price offering little in the way of a return, punters might be rewarded by being a touch braver and backing Chelsea to edge it by a solitary goal at 10/3 with William Hill.
Manchester City follow the Blues in the outright betting at 4/1 (Totesport) and desperate to land some silverware having spent big, Roberto Mancini’s men should at least ensure that they reach the last eight by easing past Stoke.
Elsewhere, the big south coast derby between Southampton and Portsmouth is a tasty 9/4 courtesy of Jaxx.com to finish all square, William Hill chalk 23/10 against Derby earning a replay as they host Birmingham and at 13/8 with Victor Chandler, Reading look overpriced to continue their great run as they entertain West Brom.
On Sunday meanwhile, Betfred’s 11/10 for a Tottenham success at Bolton is worth considering and there should be no more cup heroics from Notts County but 888Sport’s 6/1 underdogs can nevertheless give a good account of themselves at Fulham, where Partybets price them at 1/2 to bow out of the competition.
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