Everton host Crystal Palace in front of the Sky cameras on Monday night.
Both teams saw six goals in their matches last weekend but they will have finished those games in contrasting feelings as Palace were 5-1 winners while Everton threw away a two-goal lead and then failed to hang on after going back in front in the 95th minute. However, the Toffees advanced to the semis of the League Cup in midweek and having scored 10 goals in their last two home games they will be in a confident mood.
Everton weren’t one of the best teams to watch last season but that has changed this year as Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley have rediscovered their best form and the return of Gerard Deulofeu has provided another dimension to the attack. Only Man City and Leicester have scored more goals but it has come at a cost defensively as they’ve conceded 14 times in their last eight matches. They’ve of course been strong at Goodison for many years and since 2013/14 they’ve won 11 of 20 home matches against teams placed 3rd-11th with just four defeats. However, they’ve lost this fixture in each of the past two seasons, both times by 2-3 scores, and Palace are currently one of the best away sides in the league.
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Since Alan Pardew took over Palace have won 10 of their 14 away matches with their failures coming in 1-0 losses to high-flying Leicester and Spurs this season and Chelsea and Southampton last term. It’s an impressive record, and while we’d classify this as one of the hardest fixtures Palace will face, it is enough to put us off backing Everton at 11/10, though with Wilfried Zaha suspended and Bakary Sako two of Palace’s best counter-attackers have been ruled out.
In fact, all three results look quite feasible between two teams who generally look to play good football. Four of Everton’s seven home games this season have had at least four goals and their only clean sheet in the last nine matches here was the 4-0 win over Villa in their most recent home match. While goals had dried up in Palace’s matches prior to last weekend they’ve kept just two clean sheets in Pardew’s 14 away games with eight having at least three goals. Over 2.5 Goals looks a great bet at 5/6 and Over 3.5 is definitely an option at 21/10.
Romelu Lukaku isn’t far behind Jamie Vardy in the golden boot race and he’s netted five times in his last four league games and eight in his last eight. Furthermore, he scored in both games against Palace last season and at 6/4 to find the net he’s a great price.
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