Friday, January 19, 2018

Everton could be ideal opponents for Crystal Palace

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 17 Nov 2017

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As an Everton fan, this hurts me to say, but the Toffees could be ideal opponents for Crystal Palace on Saturday. Both teams have started their Premier League campaigns in poor fashion.

However, both have seen shoots of recovery in recent games. Everton produced a dramatic 3-2 win against Watford prior to the international break, while Palace played well at Tottenham, only to suffer a 1-0 defeat at Wembley.

Palace showing signs of life

The good performance at Wembley was not the first sign of life at Palace. A draw against West Ham after coming from two goals down suggested that there is life left in the Premier League’s bottom club.

Palace have gradually improved under wily old Roy Hodgson. The Eagles have not soared just yet, but they are a better team than their current position suggests. Some of their recent displays, if not results, have shown that.

Palace fans will be slightly happier now than a month ago, as their team now look like they might have a glimmer of hope of beating the drop this season.

With the likes of Wilfried Zaha and striker Christian Benteke back from injury the picture is looking brighter already for Hodgson’s side.

If the pair can combine as they did at times last season, then Palace can still get out of the relegation zone.

Everton in a mess

Evertonian’s were so optimistic in the summer that this would be a successful season. However, just a few months into the campaign and the Toffees are manager-less and just a few points clear of the relegation zone.

The win over Watford has only papered over the cracks at Goodison. However, everybody connected with the club knows that they are in a mess.

The Blues were expected to appoint a permanent boss during the international break. However, a failed attempt to land Watford’s Marco Silva means that interim boss David Unsworth will still be in charge of the team at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

In truth, the clubs search for a new boss has now turned into a fiasco, which is far from the good atmosphere around the club at the beginning of the campaign.

The team have been pace-less, direct-less and clueless this season. Only in the last half hour of the game against Watford, have the Toffees looked like a capable attacking force in recent weeks.

The good spell against Watford coincidence with the Toffees having wide players Ademola Lookman and Aaron Lennon on the pitch. They provided the much-needed width and pace for the Toffees.

It would not be a major surprise to see both start Saturday’s game. Everton needs a result to take them away from the drop zone. Unsworth needs to use all his available resources.

However, if he picks Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson in the same team and leaves wide players out then Palace have a great chance to win.

A win could be the turning point for Palace

Saturday’s clash is a massive one for both teams. However, a win for Palace could prove to be a turning point in their campaign.

The Eagles are favourites at 7/5 to win this clash. Those odds are not surprising, as the Merseysiders have not won on their travels in the Premier League since January.

However, that win was a 1-0 triumph at Selhurst Park, courtesy of a late Seamus Coleman goal. Palace will be keen to avoid another defeat that would sink them even deeper into trouble.

A home win could lift spirits majorly at the London club. It would not move the home side out of the bottom three. It would though be a start for the struggling Eagles.

The crowd at Selhurst Park can be a very big influence on Palace results. If they are up for it, they tend to raise the players. They could play a big part in helping their team for the rest of the season.

Looking at it from an Evertonian’s perspective, of course, I do not want Palace to win. However, unfortunately, I can see Zaha and Benteke running riot against our ageing backline and helping the Eagles to victory.

Can Crystal Palace turn their season around against Everton?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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