Monday, 16 February 2009

Next up, Crystal Palace

It has been a good while since my last post on 'To be a Pilgrim' and things just seem to keep getting worse for Argyle. From my point of view Plymouth looked so low on confidence against Charlton it was plain too see. This was a tie they should have gone into expecting to win it is just not good enough when you're in the relegation scrap. To top it all off the sides around the Pilgrims seem to have got their act together and Sturrock needs to pull a win out of somewhere quickly to reignite the season.

Crystal Palace are the next opponents so I thought I'd have a quick look at their team to see if that elusive win can come from this encounter. This game really does represent a decent opportunity for Plymouth to record a first victory in the league since the 2-0 win over Southampton. Palace have lost their last four league matches and they have not been games against the top sides. Their first loss came against Bristol City, before Ipswich hammered them 4-1 and then they slipped to defeat against Charlton and Blackpool so it could be the perfect time to play Neil Warnock's floundering side. In the last month or so Palace have gone from Championship promotion contenders to mid table and fingers cross Plymouth can make it five defeats in a row for the Eagles.

Palace don 't seem to be coping to well with the loss of Ben Watson and last time out they were beaten by a Blackpool side that were reduced to ten men after just three minutes. This prompted Warnock to make a bitter statement about his players and the first half of the game at Home Park will be crucial. The way confidence is affecting both sides the team who performs best and creates the most chances in the opening 45 minutes should go on to win the match.

There are a couple of danger men in the Palace side and the big hitman Shefki Kuqi is definitely one of Palace's better players. He might not be the most attractive or skillful player to watch but his sheer size and presence make him a danger. I'm just hoping the giant Finn doesn't get to do that ridiculous belly flop goal celebration on Tuesday night.

I'm going to end this post with a couple of Championship betting picks ahead of the midweek fixtures. I quite fancy Doncaster to beat Bristol City at the Keepmoat on Tuesday and Swansea should be able to beat Watford at Vicarage Road (as long as they didn't get too tired giving Fulham the run around). That's all from me, hopefully Plymouth will have recorded a victory by my next post.

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