Football: Support Wimbledon to lay low landlords Crystal Palace

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The Independent Online
Wimbledon look a good bet at 6-4 with Ladbrokes to increase Crystal Palace's relegation fears in their Premiership game at Selhurst Park this evening.

Wimbledon have proved disappointing by last season's standards this term, but they have lost only one of the last five Premiership matches and have a 33 per cent strike rate at Selhurst Park. Ordinarily such statistics - which make Wimbledon a natural 2-1 chance for success tonight - would make odds of 6-4 distinctly unappealing to value-seeking punters (who normally would want at least evens about themselves to successfully cross the road).

However, Crystal Palace, Wimbledon's landlords, have failed to win any of their 11 home fixtures so far this season. Moreover, Palace have gone under in their last four Prermiership games and are beginning to look a sound bet to make a swift return to the Nationwide League.

Palace's new signing Matt Jansen is unlikely to be involved and the Palace manager, Steve Coppell, is likely to name the same team that lost at home to Leeds.

Coppell is still without the services of several players. Italian Attilio Lombardo is still short of full fitness, while compatriot Michele Padovano is still out. Paul Warhurst has had the plaster cast removed from his broken leg, but will be out for at least a month.

Looking further ahead to the weekend, West Ham, tipped in this neck of the woods for the FA Cup, face a tough tie against Blackburn but at least have the often crucial Cup edge of home advantage. Anyone thinking of having an ante-post bet on the contest themselves to those with home ties. Sheffield United, Aston Villa, Leeds, Newcastle, Wimbledon, Arsenal and Manchester Untied all hold major chances of progressing to the quarter- finals.

Team C H L T

Crystal Palace 13-8 7-4 13-8 7-4

Draw 11-5 9-4 2-1 2-1

Wimbledon 11-8 5-4 6-4 11-8

C - Coral, H - William Hill, L - Ladbrokes T - Tote