Get ahead with Hangeland
Crystal Palace defender Brede Hangeland is backed as first goalscorer against Sunderland's shaky defence on Monday night by our Andy Schooler.

Fans of Crystal Palace and Sunderland won't thank me for saying it, but this has the look of a six-pointer, even at this early stage of the season.

Both sides go into the game in the bottom five, knowing a win would give them a big boost now and could prove crucial come the final reckoning in May.

The problem is wins have been hard to come by for both sides thus far - just three between them in 18 league games.

Palace's slip back following Tony Pulis' departure had been expected and although it's been far from a disaster under Neil Warnock, they have clearly not been as secure at the back - 16 goals conceded in nine games being a far cry from the second half of last season.

Scott Dann's potential return for this one could help on that score, while the attack they face is not one which has struck fear into any side of late.

Steven Fletcher is the visitors' top scorer with two goals, while Connor Wickham's relegation-saving efforts are but a distant memory. He has just one league goal thus far.

Gus Poyet's men have been shut out in four of their last five games, a run which includes that 8-0 hiding at Southampton, and when you start defending shambolically during such a run, that's a recipe for a losing sequence.
PRICE BOOSTS for Crystal Palace v Sunderland!

Costel Pantilimon must surely come in after Vito Mannone's recent displays, although to be fair to the former Arsenal keeper those in front of him have hardly helped shore up his confidence.

Sunderland certainly can't be trusted right now but neither do I think Palace represent good value to add to their woes at just 23/20.

They've hardly been red hot in front of goal either and they have won just two matches. 23/20 is a short price about a side struggling to win games and it should also be remembered that despite their poor recent run, Sunderland have avoided defeat on six occasions, losing only three times.

So if it's not worth playing in the match result market, what else is worth considering?

Well, the under 2.5 goals option has to be investigated but the bookies are clued up to that and 31/40 is the best you'll get there. Given the defences have shown tendencies to open up, that's not for me.

The time of the last goal is a possible angle to profit from. Six of Palace's nine games have featured a goal in the last 10 minutes, including the last three.

With Sunderland, the stat is five of nine (using the last 11 minutes).

For those seeking a bigger price, defender Brede Hangeland has scored two goals in six games this season for Palace.

On both occasions, that goal has been the game's opener.

With Sunderland's defence in a bit of a state at present, it would be no surprise to see slack marking on set-pieces and that's where Hangeland can profit.

The Norwegian enjoyed some decent goalscoring returns at times in his Fulham days, eight in a single season being his best haul. This strong start suggests he is capable of something similar in a Palace shirt and any Warnock team will be looking to produce plenty from corners and free kicks.

Big Brede is available at 25/1 in that first scorer market or 11/1 in the anytime one. In a game lacking a great punting appeal, I'll have a nibble in the former given a goal fest is far from expected.

Verdict: Crystal Palace 1 Sunderland 0
Back Crystal Palace to beat Sunderland 1-0 at 11/2!

Opta facts:

Crystal Palace have won their last four home games in all competitions against Sunderland.

Sunderland haven’t won any of their last 20 Premier League matches on a Monday (D8 L12). Their last win on a Monday in the Premier League was against Leicester City in April 2002 (2-1 at home).

The Black Cats have won two of their last five league trips to London (L3), including a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge in April.

No side has conceded more goals in the final 15 minutes of PL matches this season than Crystal Palace (5 - level with Everton and Chelsea).

Mile Jedinak didn’t score or assist a single goal in any of his first 34 Premier League appearances, but he has scored four and assisted two in his last 13.