There are rumours that Harry Redknapp could be persuaded to become the next manager of Blackburn Rovers, while Palace are now searching for a new boss and Burnley also have a vacant position following Eddie Howe’s return to Bournemouth.
Leicester City are the pace-setters and face the manager-less Eagles hoping to remain top, while Freedman’s first assignment is at the Riverside Stadium against a Middlesbrough team that sit third in the table after a bright start.
Middlesbrough v Bolton Wanderers 15:00
The bookies aren’t yet prepared to consider Boro seriously when it comes to Championship promotion although Tony Mowbray’s side sit third in the table after a bright opening to their campaign which has seen them win four of their six matches at home.
Middlesbrough have only drawn once all season and come into this match off the back of three straight wins after beating Hull City on Tuesday despite the absence of Lucas Jutkiewicz who has been sidelined for several weeks after scoring braces against Blackburn and Watford.
The Teeside team can be backed at 8/5 (bet365 £200 free bets) to claim victory against a Bolton side that were the pre-season favourites to win the league although four wins from their first twelve matches of the season means that they sit 16th although a string of wins will have them back into the top six.
Freedman has clearly left Selhurst Park for a job which is better paid and a squad which has more potential to reach the Premier League and it now falls to the Scot to improve the club’s fortunes after Owen Coyle was unable to get off to the fast start required.
Wanderers’ away form has been far from impressive this term although Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at Wolves was one of their better performances on the road and Ladbrokes go 7/4 that the visitors win at the Riverside Stadium and help their new gaffer get off to the best possible start.
Leicester City v Crystal Palace 15:00
The Foxes were joint-favourites with West Ham to achieve promotion last season and even splurged £4 million on Jermaine Beckford to help them into the Premier League. However, Sven-Goran Eriksson flattered to deceive and it now falls to Nigel Pearson to deliver top flight football for the club’s rich Thai backers.
Leicester are certainly going about things the right way after a strong start to the campaign which has seen City amass 25 points from 12 games and Saturday afternoon’s game represents a chance to strengthen their grip on top spot, with the bookies going no bigger than 4/7 (Ladbrokes) about a home win.
The Midlands side beat Brighton on Tuesday although Kasper Schmeichel did have to save a Will Buckley penalty to keep his team ahead and Palace will certainly be out to prove they are no soft touch following the departure of Dougie Freedman.
The Eagles have won three times on the road this term and are probably too big at 6/1 (BetVictor) to land another maximum haul, with Palace having been unbeaten in their last nine games although the last two matches have been draws against Millwall and Barnsley.
Bristol City v Hull City 17:20
Ashton Gate season ticket holders might not be too impressed by the team’s 21st position in the Championship, although they have certainly seen the goals flying in at both ends since the campaign began.
An incredible 33 goals have been scored in six Bristol City home games and the latest scoreline was a 4-3 reverse against Burnley which means that the Robins have now lost their last three matches and are without a win in six games.
The defence is leaking goals and the bookies make Hull slight favourites to win at 6/4 (Blue Square bookmaker) even if the Tigers’ form is a mixed bag which has seen them win just two of their six matches on the road.
Steve Bruce knows full well that nothing less than promotion is required for him to keep his job at the KC Stadium this term and they aren’t far off the pace being set by Cardiff and Leicester, although four defeats have been suffered in their last six games and big money signing Nick Proschwitz is under pressure to deliver.
The German scored twice recently against Ipswich and might find the home defence susceptible with odds of 7/1 about him scoring the first goal, although Bristol City will be determined to stop being so easy to score against and they are 19/10 for a much-needed home win that will steer them away from the foot of the table.