Verdict: Everton win
Best Odds: 17/20
Crystal Palace will be looking to avoid three Premier League defeats on the bounce when they travel to Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.
While it has been far from a dream start for Marco Silva’s side, Everton have begun to show signs of improvement and will be boosted that he can finally call upon summer arrivals Andre Gomes and Yerry Mina. While the hosts may have crashed out of the EFL Cup at the hands of Southampton earlier in the month, Everton are now unbeaten in their last two Premier League outings. If they are to make a push for European football, they will be hoping that former Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson can carry on his impressive recent run of form. With Cenk Tosun and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring just two between them, the Iceland captain has filled Everton’s attacking void. 29-year-old found the net in the Toffees 3-1 win over Palace last season and also now has four in his last four for Silva’s side. Looking to make it three top-flight wins on the bounce, the Blues will be boosted by their recent record against the Eagles. The hosts are unbeaten in their last seven meetings against Palace, a run stemming back to 2014.
Andre Gomes and Yerry Mina are available to make their Everton debuts almost two months on from their deadline day arrivals from Barcelona.
Seamus Coleman is also in line to return having recovered from an ankle injury. James McCarthy is also edging closer after featuring for the Under-23 side this week having recovered from a double leg break but is not expected to feature this weekend.
As for Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace side, while the visitors did enter the international break 14th in the Premier League table and with a four-point advantage over the relegation zone, it has been a sluggish start for the Eagles. Coming away with back to back losses against Bournemouth and newly promoted Wolves, Palace are without a win in their last three top-flight outings. Much like last season, their major problem has once again come in the final third. Still to score a goal in front of their home fans, they’re now almost now solely relying on talisman Wilfred Zaha to score the lion share of their goals. Finding the net just five times this year, they have also now scored just one Premier League goal since August 28th. Unsurprisingly, no team outside of bottom three holds a worse attacking record.
Wilfried Zaha has overcome a groin concern and will be fit. Christian Benteke is unavailable having undergone knee surgery, with Roy Hodgson not expecting a return to match action until the new year.
Forgotten man Connor Wickham could be in contention to fill the void up front having made his return in a friendly against Dulwich Hamlet during the international break. The striker has not played a competitive game for the club since November 2016.
Key Factors to Consider
- The last time the two sides met at Goodison Park Everton came away with a 3-1 win.
- Crystal Palace have not beaten the Toffees since September 2014.
- The Eagles have now failed to score in their last three Premier League matches.
- Sunday will mark the 48th meeting between these two sides. Everton have won 19 of those past meetings with Palace claiming 13 wins.
- Gylfi Sigurdsson now has four in his last four for Everton. He also has three in his last two appearances at Goodison.
Looking to close the gap on the Europa League positions, Marco Silva should see this as a perfect opportunity to make it three Premier League wins on the bounce. Given Palace’s recent struggles on Merseyside, coupled with their recent issues in the final third, we’re backing the Tofees to come away with the three points on Sunday.
Verdict: Everton win
Best Odds: 17/20
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