Everton and Crystal Palace are two of the most awkward teams to play right now. Both are capable of springing an upset against better teams, but they can also put up large score-lines and make managers forget about clean-sheets. For those reasons, this should be a fascinating affair on Monday night.
Roberto Martínez’s Everton have given up 19 league goals this season, but their ability to score 27 has saved them. Leading up to this fixture, Everton reside in eighth place, leaving them two spots behind Crystal Palace.
A home victory for the Toffees will lift them past Palace and get them closer to the European spots. At home, though, Everton have been poor in conceding 11 of their 19 goals. However, they have managed to display the fifth-best home form in the league by scoring 16 goals at Goodison Park.
Defensively, the concern is that Phil Jagielka is out for a few weeks with a knee injury. Ramiro Funes Mori partnered John Stones at centre-back for Everton’s calamitous 3-3 draw with Bournemouth. Everton should have found a way to win that game, and they could continue to ship goals without Jagielka.
Crystal Palace let a golden opportunity slip when they lost 1-0 at home to Sunderland, but the Eagles were able to turn things around in dramatic fashion. Alan Pardew was in dreamland after smashing former club Newcastle 5-1.
Pardew’s team have been playing quite well away from home, as supported by their sixth-place away form. Their eight goals scored and five goals conceded have helped them win four and lose two.
Crystal Palace can take something from this game if they can avoid conceding in the early stages. Everton like to press forward at home and this could create space for Yannick Bolasie, who finally returned to form with two goals against Newcastle. However, the speedy Wilfried Zaha will miss out with a suspension.
Tip one: Everton @ 2.00 with Betfair
Tip two: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.83 with Betfair
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Everton look capable of forgetting their past two home Premier League defeats to Crystal Palace by winning this game, but are likely to concede in the process.