Two of the Premier League’s early season surprise packages, Crystal Palace and Everton, will meet on Saturday at Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace took six points from six in their two opening games, surprising many onlookers after their end to last term. The Eagles won 1-0 against Southampton at home to kick off the campaign before going to Old Trafford and defeating Manchester United 3-1.
Everton got a set-piece goal against Tottenham Hotspur to gain a narrow 1-0 win away on opening day. They followed it up with a 5-2 win at Goodison Park against West Brom last weekend. The Toffees have spent big this transfer window and big-money signing James Rodriguez looks to be the real deal. Manager Carlo Ancelotti will hope his team can continue their strong start and Rodriguez can fire on all cylinders once more.
Everton are unbeaten in 11 straight Premier League games. They have dominated the series of matches between the clubs in the top flight. Five of those 11 matches ended with Everton claiming wins. Ancelotti will aim for a sixth win from 12 game against Crystal Palace, while Roy Hodgson will hope his side can end their winless run against the Toffees.
Last season, these teams played a bore nil-nil draw at Selhurst Park. The game was uneventful except for Morgan Schneiderlin’s second-half sending off. Their reverse fixture at Goodison Park ended in a 3-1 win for Everton. Bernard scored in the 18th minute to put Everton into the lead. Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke levelled the scoreline just after halftime, but Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin then scored to give Everton the victory.
Games between the teams have not been high scoring. Six of the last 11 games between the clubs in the Premier League saw Everton keep a clean sheet. Just five of the last 11 games between the clubs ended with both teams scoring goals.
Everton have taken six points from six this term. They have an expected points figure of 4.74. They are right on their expected goals tally of 5.43 with an actual goals total of six.
Crystal Palace have also taken six points from six. The Eagles have an expected points figure of 3.49 and an expected goals figure of 3.31. Their actual goals total is four. Defensively Crystal Palace have been good conceding just one over the course of 180 minutes of football. They have an expected goal allowed figure of 2.36.
Crystal Palace manager Hodgson has injury issues heading into matchday 3. It seems that injuries are never far away from the squad. Hodgson will be without striker Connor Wickham, Patrick van Aanholt, James Tomkins, Gary Cahill, and Nathan Ferguson. In spite of the injuries that Hodgson has and his players have endured, they continue to play well.
Hodgson is waiting on the fitness reports of Christian Benteke, Scott Dann, and Jairo Riedewald. Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha goes into the game in fine form. He has scored three times in two matches. Zaha is linked with a move to Everton, but Crystal Palace will be desperate to hang onto their talisman.
Everton manager Ancelotti has five players ruled out through injury. Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Cenk Tosun are two of those injured players. The duo is long-term absentees and will have no impact on the result this weekend. Jarrad Branthwaite, Mason Holgate, and Jonas Lossl are also ruled out of the weekend fixture.
Everton played in midweek in the Carabao Cup, winning against Fleetwood Town 5-2. It was a solid performance for the Toffees and now move on to face off with Premier League team West Ham.
Both teams to score: NO - BET NOW
Six of the last 11 games between Crystal Palace and Everton in the Premier League finished with both teams not scoring goals. Their game at Selhurst Park in 2019-20 ended nil-nil. In fact, their last two fixtures in the league played at Selhurst Park finished with both teams not scoring goals. Both games finished nil-nil. With both teams being defensive, the trend of both teams not scoring should continue.
Under 2.5 goals scored - BET NOW
Eight of the last 11 games between Crystal Palace and Everton ended with under 2.5 goals scored. The Eagles claimed a 1-0 win on opening day versus Southampton. Meanwhile, Everton picked up a 1-0 win away from home on opening day versus Tottenham Hotspur. This game should be close and cagey. Everton are coming off of a midweek win and questions remain around the depth of Ancelotti’s squad. They are improving and getting points in a low-scoring match away continue those improvements.
Half with most goals: Second half - BET NOW
Three of the last five games between these teams finished with the second half containing the most goals of the game. These teams should play a close match in the first half, feeling each other out. If goals are to come at Selhurst Park, they should be scored in the second period.
While Wilfried Zaha goes into matchday 3 with three goals, Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has bagged four goals in two games. Calvert-Lewin continues to develop under Ancelotti. He has scored 67% of Everton’s Premier League goals this term. Zaha has scored 75% of Crystal Palace’s goals. If Everton’s defence can slow down or stop Zaha, Crystal Palace do not have consistent goalscorers.
Summer signing Michy Batshuayi could start in attack for the Eagles. He played just five minutes against Manchester United. Hodgson prefers to start Jordan Ayew, but could rotate the duo this weekend.
Ancelotti’s team are still a work in progress. The club continue to spend heavily and are likely to add more players before the transfer window closes. Everton could surprise a lot of Premier League onlookers and a win this weekend against Crystal Palace will keep them near – or at – the top of the league table.