8th of February 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Two struggling teams clash on Saturday at Goodison Park as 10th-placed Everton take on 14th-placed Crystal Palace. The reverse fixture was a spectacular one, it ended 2-2 in November after Crystal Palace led 1-0 and 2-1. Four of the last five direct matches ended in draws and Everton won two of the last six meetings. The Eagles have not won at Goodison Park since 2014, when they managed to secure two consecutive 3-2 victories at Everton. The Toffees have not beaten the Eagles at Goodison Park since 2005.
Everton ended a streak of seven matches without victory with a 2-1 triumph over Leicester at the end of January, but then they were hammered back into the ground at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal defeated them 5-1 last weekend. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney were on the bench against Arsenal, so they might be given starting berths here, along with Seamus Coleman. Leighton Baines, James McCarthy and Maarten Stekelenburg remain injured, while Ramiro Funes Mori is not fully fit yet after having spend the last ten months on the sidelines.
Crystal Palace are coming into this match after two consecutive draws, 1-1 at West Ham and 1-1 at home against Newcastle, results which left them just three points above the relegation zone. The Eagles will have to keep collecting points on a regular basis if they want to survive in the Premier League as consecutive defeats could sink them towards the bottom of the table. That won't be easy considering that they are going through an injury crisis, Wilfried Zaha suffered a severe knee injury last weekend, while Bakary Sako, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jeffrey Schlupp, Jason Puncheon, Scott Dann and Connor Wickham are also sidelined.
Everton: Pickford - Coleman, Keane, Williams, Martina - Gueye, Schneiderlin - Walcott, Rooney, Sigurdsson - Niasse
Crystal Palace: Hennessey - Fosu-Mensah, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt - Townsend, Milivojevic, Cabaye, McArthur - Sorloth, Benteke
My prediction: Everton to win 3-1.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Everton win - 2.25
Draw - 3.25
Crystal Palace win - 3.20
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It was nice to see Everton back on winning track, in the end they've got too much quality in their side to be just an "relegation safe" team. They've spent a lot during summer and the last January window so their fans are fully in the right of expecting a higher class performances from this squad.
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