Best Odds: 3/1
Everton’s impressive four-match winning run in the Premier League came to an end at Vitality Stadium, with the Toffees hoping to return to winning ways against Crystal Palace. That will be no easy task considering that the Eagles have won three successive league fixtures, defeating Sunderland on the road last time out.
It’s been a while since Everton last enjoyed a promising season, so nobody was surprised to see Roberto Martinez leave in the summer. The club chiefs appear to have made the right choice when selecting his successor as former Saints boss Ronald Koeman enjoyed a bright start to his career at Goodison Park. Following the opening draw with Spurs at White Hart Lane, Everton went on to record five straight wins in all competitions, as they also hammered Yeovil Town in the League Cup. The good run eventually came to an end as the Toffees were beaten at home by Norwich to crash out of said competition, while last week’s defeat to AFC Bournemouth saw them slip to fifth in the Premier League standings. Nevertheless, seeing as how Everton are tied on points with third-placed Arsenal, they can still consider the start to have been successful, but also need to return to winning ways as quickly as possible. This is, however, not the right time to be facing revived Crystal Palace, who are searching for fourth successive triumph.
Manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Leighton Baines is unlikely to feature against Crystal Palace, meaning that Bryan Oviedo will continue to deputise.
There are no other selection worries for the boss at the moment, but Enner Valencia may replace out-of-form Ross Barkley in the starting line-up.
In spite of the promising start, Crystal Palace ended up finishing the previous league campaign just few points above the relegation zone, but club chiefs then made quite an effort to ensure that does not happen again. The Eagles splashed out on Christian Benteke, Andros Townsend and James Tomkins, while Mathieu Flamini, Steve Mandanda and Loic Remy arrived free of charge, so there are no doubts the squad is now much stronger than last term. Seeing as how not all summer recruits were at the club during pre-season, Palace had a slow start to the new campaign, taking just one point from first three matches, but things quickly fell into place, which results in wins over Middlesbrough, Stoke City and Sunderland. The EFL Cup defeat to Southampton had no effect on team’s impressive league showings and the Eagles will now attempt to make it three away wins in a row. Crystal Palace have been scoring goals for fun since the arrival of Benteke, but their back line is not exactly impenetrable, having conceded in all but one fixture this season.
Jonathan Benteke is set for a four-month spell on the sidelines, but key winger Wilfried Zaha returns from a hamstring problem.
There are no other fresh worries for Alan Pardew, but the likes of Loic Remy, Scott Dann and Pape Souare remain in the infirmary.
Key Factors to Consider
- Palace won two of last three games at Goodison Park (D1)
- Teams’ both EPL meetings last term ended all squared
- Crystal Palace won their last three Premier League fixtures
- The Eagles conceded in each of their six league games this term
- Everton recorded two defeats after a five-match winning run
Everton have suffered an obvious dip in form of late, but having played so well in the opening exchanges, the Toffees can be trusted to end a two-match losing run. However, we don’t think they will emerge victorious from the clash with in-form Crystal Palace, hence we recommend betting on draw.
Best Odds: 3/1