Hodgson hopes Zaha will stay

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is confident that Wilfried Zaha will remain at Selhurst Park for several more years.

The Ivory Coast international was quoted at the weekend as saying that he was keen to play in the Champions League before going on to star in the Eagles' impressive 3-2 victory at Arsenal on Sunday.

Zaha signed a new contract eight months ago that does not expire until 2023 and Hodgson hopes the 26-year-old will remain at Selhurst Park for many years to come.

The former England and Liverpool boss said: "He's on a four-year contract, he's one of our highest-paid players and he's absolutely adored by the fans and everyone in south-east London.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm looking forward to working with him, not only in the near future, but to seeing him in the Palace shirt for many years to come.

"The question is how many players… would say: 'I don't want to play Champions League football'… he's our player and he's certainly happy. That wasn't the performance of a guy looking to get away from his club."

Meanwhile, Zaha has distanced himself from the comments, insisting: "To be honest the only thing I'm thinking about is Palace. I'm a Palace player right now and I don't know what the future holds for me."

Palace, who confirmed their top-flight status for another season by beating the Gunners, are 8/5 to win their next match against Everton on Saturday and 3/1 to emerge victorious by a one-goal margin.

Arsenal pay for defensive errors

Arsenal missed the chance to leapfrog Tottenham and go third in the Premier League after suffering defeat at home to Crystal Palace.

Roy Hodgson's side won 3-2 at the Emirates with all three of their goals contributed to by poor Arsenal defending.

Christian Benteke's last goal came almost exactly a year ago but he fired the Eagles in front, poor Arsenal marking allowing him a header which beat Bernd Leno.

Arsenal saw appeals for a penalty waved away towards the end of the first half when a cross appeared to be blocked by the hand of Aaron Wan-Bissaka but the referee wasn't convinced.

Unai Emery rang the changes at half-time, bringing on Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Iwobi and it paid dividends almost immediately, Iwobi getting involved, finding space and passing to Alexandre Lacazette who fed Mesut Ozil, the German beating Vicente Guaita at the near post.

That looked to be the goal to launch another three points for the home side but to the disbelief of the fans inside the Emirates it was Palace who struck back for a second just after the hour mark.

Again poor Arsenal defending was a contributory factor, Palace getting a free kick which was nodded on by Benteke, it should have been dealt with by Shkodran Mustafi but he left it for his keeper and in the confusion Wilfried Zaha nipped in to get the ball past Leno and into the net.

Palace increased their lead on 69 minutes and it was another set-piece which caused problems in the Gunners box, Luka Milivojevic sending in a free-kick which was nodded on by Scott Dann and James McArthur headed in from close range.

The Gunners did reduce the deficit, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang going past two defenders, Joel Ward tried to clear but the ball fell back to the striker and he found the corner of the net.

However, Arsenal couldn't find an equaliser and therefore miss the chance to put distance between themselves and rivals in the race for a top four finish.

The Gunners stay fourth but they are ahead of Chelsea only on goal difference with Manchester United two points behind in sixth.

Emery's side are back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Wolves and are 6/4 for the win with the home side 7/4 and the draw 23/10.

Arsenal are 10/11 to secure a place in the top four with Manchester United 5/1.

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Hodgson plans to silence Gunners

Roy Hodgson hopes Arsenal will be thinking about their Europa League games against Valencia when Crystal Palace play the Gunners on Sunday.

Unai Emery's team enjoyed an excellent victory against Napoli in the quarter-finals of the Europa League and remain well-placed in the battle to clinch a top-four spot in the Premier League.

Hodgson said: "Arsenal present, like Manchester City last weekend, a very difficult problem for you in the sense that they are very, very good and have some very, very good players. They themselves are in excellent form.

"We can be happy with three of our last four away games resulting in victories, that's tremendous. But it certainly doesn't lead me to believe it will make things any easier to go to the Emirates and play Arsenal on Sunday.

"(I am) looking forward to the game and congratulations to Arsenal on beating Napoli home and away in two excellent performances and hoping, I suppose, their performance against us won't be of that high of a level.

"I think Unai Emery must be very, very pleased with the way things have gone there for him. He has been able to mould a team, play the football that I guess he wants his team to play and it has been very successful football."

Crystal Palace are 5/1 to beat Arsenal on Sunday.

Guardiola: It’s in our hands

Pep Guardiola accepts that Manchester City will probably have to win their last five Premier League games if they are going to lift the title again.

Last season's champions beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at Selhurst Park on Sunday but Liverpool returned to the top of the table later in the day by securing a 2-0 victory over Chelsea.

City are two points behind Liverpool but have a game in hand on Jurgen Klopp's team.

Liverpool are currently available at 11/10 to win the Premier League title while Manchester City can be backed at 8/11.

City appear to have a harder run-in as they still have to play Tottenham and Manchester United while they also face Spurs on Wednesday in the Champions League when a place in the semi-finals will be up for grabs. Guardiola's team are 4/6 to qualify for the last four after losing last week's first leg 1-0.

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola said: "We think Liverpool are going to win all their games but the Premier League position is in our hands.

"We have to win every game if we want to make back-to-back titles. We know that and the players have shown they want to do it and I didn't have any doubts about that."

Raheem Sterling scored twice against Palace before Gabriel Jesus added a late third goal to leave Guardiola purring.

He said after the victory at Selhurst Park: "I'm so pleased. The amount of games we have had – Brighton (in the semi-finals of the FA Cup), and three days later the Champions League, and now here, and the way we played for 75 or 80 minutes was really good.

"In two seasons we've got 83 points with five games left. Incredible numbers and it shows how consistent we are."

Injury ends Tomkins’ season

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has announced that James Tomkins will miss the rest of the Premier League season because of a groin injury.

The former West Ham United defender picked up the injury in the second half of the 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at St James' Park last weekend.

"We lost James Tomkins in the game against Newcastle. He has been operated on, so he will miss the remainder of the season which is a major blow, coming on top of Mamadou Sakho's injury five or six games ago," Hodgson said ahead of Sunday's game against Manchester City at Selhurst Park, which the Eagles are 10/1 to win.

"Those two [Tomkins and Sakho] have been such important pillars in the centre of our defence and helped us get where we are," said former England and LIverpool manager Hodgson.

"It is a big ask for Scott [Dann] and Martin [Kelly]. They're going to have to step into some quite big shoes but I am confident that they can do that and they will get their first chance on Sunday."

Palace secured a shock 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium in December and are 66/1 to repeat that scoreline on home soil while Pep Guardiola's team are available at 8/15 to win the Premier League title this season.

Hodgson warns against let-up

Crystal Palace head coach Roy Hodgson says he and his players will take nothing for granted until Premier League survival is assured for yet another season.

The Eagles head to Tyneside on Saturday to take on a Newcastle United outfit who are one point and one place worse off than their visitors, with both sides one more win away from almost certainly ensuring their top-flight status.

However, Hodgson has warned his players not to show any let-up in effort, especially against a Magpies side who have won their last five home league games.

He told reporters: "It is a fact of life that staying in the Premier League is the goal.

"We know it will be a fight to achieve it, we aren't taking anything for granted. We are fighting for every point.

"We realise we need more points and we also realise we are going to be coming up against strong teams. But we (also) know on the days when we produce our best football we are a match for any team.

"We will be entering our seventh successive season in the Premier League if we achieve our goal – it's an impressive achievement."

Earlier this season the meeting of the two sides at Selhurst Park ended in a goalless draw, while the clash at St James' Park last season finished 1-0 to the hosts.

A draw on Saturday afternoon is priced at 9/4, with a 1-1 final scoreline available at 11/2, while another 1-0 win for Newcastle is a 7/1 shot.

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Poch expecting top-four finish

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino has total confidence that his team will go on to secure a top-four finish come the end of the Premier League season.

Spurs marked the occasion of the first game at their new stadium with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace, with a deflected Son Heung-Min effort and a close-range Christian Eriksen finish being enough to see off the Eagles.

The result lifted Pochettino's side back up to third place in the standings, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United also involved in a tense battle for a Champions League spot.

And the Argentinian has no doubts that his players have the ability to get the job done in the coming weeks.

He told reporters: "I am so confident that we are going to get the top four in the end. I believe in my players. I trust them.

"I think this group of players and this group of staff and of course everyone in every department of this club deserves to be in the Champions League at the end of the season, because we work so hard to deliver it.

"Of course it's true there is a lot of work to do. We are competing with big clubs that invest a lot of money.

"We are competing with different tools, but we have the belief and now we have our new home."

Tottenham can currently be backed at 4/11 to finish in the top four, with Arsenal priced at 4/9 and Chelsea available at 11/8.

Spurs are one point above both the Gunners and the Blues, with Arsenal having a game in hand.

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Premier League: Tottenham Make Winning Start in New Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Crystal Palace

Tottenham Hotspur’s much-anticipated homecoming finally arrived, and it went as well as they could have hoped. Spurs started life in their new stadium with a much-needed 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

It was a huge win for Spurs, who had gone five matches without a win in the league. That included their late defeat to Liverpool after a Toby Alderweireld own goal last time out.

The win put them back up to third in the Premier League table, one point above North London rivals Arsenal, who still have a game in hand.

Those who took the Asian handicap us tip of Spurs -1.25 in this match’s preview should be pleased as Spurs delivered following their recent run of poor Premier League 2019 results.

Highlights of the game

The energy before the match was predictably high, with the crowd of around 60,000 brimming with excitement as they get to experience their new stadium for the very first time.

 Spurs had the first real chance of the match inside of two minutes off a corner. Kieran Trippier delivered a cross into the six-yard box, which Dele Alli met. However, the Spurs midfielder’s header was tame and easily caught by Palace keeper Vicente Guaita.

Just a minute later, it was Palace’s turn to threaten as Jeff Schlupp got behind the Spurs defence. But he was under pressure from Toby Alderweireld and blazed his effort way over the bar.

Spurs then had a good chance in the 16th minute through Christian Eriksen. The Dane’s shot was saved by Guaita, and despite Son being well-placed to pounce on the rebound, Palace were able to get the ball clear.

Son fired a shot which tested Guaita again on 36 minutes, but the Palace keeper was just able to push the ball out for a corner from his near post.

Harry Kane’s best chance of the first 45 minutes came just before half-time as he attempted to get on the end of an Eriksen cross. Unfortunately, his header went well wide.

Spurs eventually made the breakthrough 10 minutes after the break. Eriksen’s press won the ball in Palace’s third and quickly got to ball to Son. And after evading several Palace defenders, the South Korean got a huge slice of luck as his shot took a huge deflection, which sent the ball right into the corner.

Kane had a glorious opportunity to double Spurs’ lead 10 minutes later after he was sent clear on goal. But the star striker was unable to get enough curl on his shot as he tried to place it into the top corner of the goal.

But Kane did play an important part in Spurs’ clinching goal in the 80th minute. He was able to work his way into the six-yard box before getting tackled. Eriksen was quickest to react to the ball ahead of several flat-footed Palace defenders as he slotted past Guaita.

Palace almost pulled a goal back inside last five minutes as a Patrick van Aanholt cross appeared to be headed toward goal. But Hugo Lloris was just able to get his hand on the ball and push it out for a corner.

Palace had another great chance from the ensuing corner, but Christian Benteke was unable to get his header from the six-yard box on target.

Key statistics

It was quite a dominant opening performance from Spurs in their new ground. They controlled 65 per cent of possession and outshot Palace by a whopping 26 to five.

Spurs’ recent dominance over Palace continues. They have now won each of their past eight Premier League meetings against Crystal Palace. Palace have also failed to score in their last six away games against Tottenham.

No wonder the Tottenham vs Crystal Palace betting odds had Palace priced at 6.00 to win in the 1X2 market. This fixture has been — and continues to be — quite a one-sided affair.

Son scored his 12th Premier League goal of the season, snapping a five-match goalless run in the league. His last PL goal came all the way back against Leicester in February.

Son Heung-Min celebrates Tottenham Hotspur's first goal against Crystal Palace in their recent Premier League game

Son Heung-Min christens new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with first goal

Meanwhile, Eriksen picked up yet another assist, giving him 59 in 200 Premier League games. Only Cesc Fabregas (66), David Beckham (62), Thierry Henry (61) and Dennis Bergkamp (60) have had more assists in their first 200 PL appearances.

What’s next?

After taking care of business in the league, Tottenham now turn their attention to next week’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Manchester City. City are coming off a comfortable 2-0 win over Cardiff City in midweek to return to the top of the table.

As for Palace, they take on Newcastle away on Saturday in the Premier League. Palace are just one spot ahead of 14th-placed Newcastle in the Premier League table. Victory for either side should just about secure Premier League survival for this season.

 

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Pochettino not in party mood

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has warned against the dangers of a party atmosphere when they finally play at their new stadium, saying three points are the priority.

After a long delay Spurs finally move out of their temporary home of Wembley into their new ground with Crystal Palace the visitors on Wednesday night.

After such a long build-up there promises to be a special atmosphere at the ground but Pochettino is more concerned at securing Champions League football at the venue next season.

The weekend defeat at Liverpool means Spurs stay in the top four but only on goal difference from Manchester United with Chelsea a further point behind.

So, for the Spurs manager three points are the priority though he acknowledges the importance of finally moving to their new stadium.

At a press conference ahead of the Palace game, Pochettino said: "It is going to be a very, very tough game of course. But, you cannot stop that feeling that when everyone comes here tomorrow, they are ready for a party. In the same time it is very dangerous to deal with that excitement.

"We need to deal with this energy and deal with it in the right moment during the 90 minutes.

"Tomorrow is very important for the club but the three points are in the same level of importance."

Spurs are 9/20 to kick off the new era with three points while Palace are 13/2 to be party poopers with the draw 4/1.

Palace have been fighting towards the bottom of the table for most of the season but look well set for another season in the top flight, now having an eight-point cushion over Cardiff who sit in the final relegation place.

Pochettino also told the press conference that Harry Winks is back in training while Serge Aurier and Eric Dier are getting closer to rejoining the squad while Erik Lamela and Fernando Llorente are also set to miss the Palace game.

Spurs are 8/13 to finish in the top four in the Premier League with Chelsea 15/8 and Manchester United 5/4.

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Premier League: Welcome Home – Now Win!

Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace

That is the simple but crucial message to Spurs as a new era for the club and indeed for the Premier League begins on Wednesday night.

A clash which us fans will normally look forward to between two attacking-minded sides suddenly has a new tingle of excitement to it.

Just a month short of two years playing away from home, Spurs are ready to return to home comforts as the new White Hart Lane welcomes back its heroes – and my word it looks terrific!

Talking Points

Could the new stadium actually end up saving Spurs’ season?

With just one point from their past five league matches, the timing may be crucial.

Up to 62,062 supporters could be packed into their breathtaking new home and the outpouring of relief – Spurs were scheduled to move to the new White Hart Lane stadium in September but construction was delayed several times – and emotion could have a galvanising effect on Mauricio Pochettino’s squad, which has been under strength for two months and seen the depth of its resources tested to the limit.

It has been tested to such an extent that as the team approaches the latter stages of a gruelling campaign, a clear lead in third place has been all but eaten up by the main challengers around them.

Pochettino himself admits his side is now involved in a ‘mini league’ with four teams vying for the remaining two Champions League spots so the timing of the move may be enough to urge them on towards securing one of those places.

opacity 0 CLICK HERE TO SEE UPDATED ODDS La Liga

Despite results on the pitch, March was not the disaster for Spurs many critics suggested.

With Manchester United appointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a full-time basis, and Zinedine Zidane returning to the Real Madrid hotseat, Pochettino’s future at the North London club seems more secure and less likely to approaches from coveted suitors this summer.

A number of his players are also returning from injury and their display in a narrow 2-1 defeat to Liverpool was much improved, only for an inexplicable Hugo Lloris error to cost them a point.

Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace have had a fine season under his stewardship and would love to spoil the party with three points which would all but seal top-flight survival for another season.

They remain a tough side to beat on their day and, in Wilfried Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka,have two men in demand who they will need to keep to continue their progress over the past 18 months.

Zaha claimed two assists during the 2-0 win over Huddersfield at the weekend, while defender helped the Eagles keep their 10th clean sheet in the Premier League.

Crystal Palace are eyeing to upset us tips and win against Tottenham Hotspur

Crystal Palace’s FA Cup battle against Tottenham Hotspur ended in a victory

The duo’s performances have led to them being linked with moves away from Selhurst Park this summer.

Wan-Bissaka has been linked with a host of clubs, such as Manchester City, while Zaha has been touted with a shock return to United.

This will be another chance to show their worth on what will be a night which should provide some of the Premier League 2019 highlights and will be an evening to remember for Spurs– particularly if the result goes their way.

History

Tottenham have won 11 of their 19 Premier League meetings against Palace, drawing five times and losing three games.

Spurs have won their last five League meetings 1-0, including in November when Juan Foyth scored his first league goal for the club.

However, Palace knocked a weakened Spurs out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win at Selhurst Park in January when Conor Wickham and former Spurs man Andros Townsend were on target.

Betting Tip

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Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace Asian Handicap Spurs -1.25 @ 2.08
April 4, 02:45 (GMT+8)

Palace are priced quite attractively to be party poopers.

1X2 @ 6.00 is certainly worth a punt on a side which will also be playing at the new ground for the first time, despite the carnival atmosphere.

You can get Asian Handicap +1.00 Palace @ 2.11 and the Double Chance Palace or Draw @ 2.48.

A repeat of Spurs’ league victory from November – correct score 1-0 – is on offer @ 7.20 and 1X2 Spurs @ 1.50.

Again, the 1X2 draw will appeal to many @ 4.30.

Goals are expected in this encounter, as shown by total goal 0-1 @ 4.20, total goals 2-3 @ 1.99, total goals 4-6 @ 2.91 and over 3.00 goals @ 2.16.

How can I bet against Spurs though, despite their recent poor run.

This is an occasion they have waited for and will savour.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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