WILLIE Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) focuses on the Friday night match between Everton and Crystal Palace.
Everton v Crystal Palace | Friday 20:00 | Sky Sports 2
The fickleness of football fans is, of course, well documented and another prime example of it can be found in Friday’s fixture from the Premier League.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Ronald Koeman was revered on Merseyside, for the Toffees – so poor for so long under Roberto Martinez last season – were finally living up to their potential after enjoying a terrific start to the season.
However, back-to-back defeats against Norwich City and AFC Bournemouth respectively means that the pressure is on the former Southampton boss as he tries to get back into the groove by picking up all three points against the Eagles.
For Alan Pardew, the memories of taking Crystal Palace to within minutes of FA Cup glory in May must have seemed pretty distant last month, with pressure being piled on the former Newcastle United boss following his side’s shaky start to the season.
The spotlight may well have fallen on Selhurst Park again last weekend, had the Eagles not battled their way back from 2-0 down to claim a vital victory against beleaguered Sunderland on Wearside – with Christian Benteke – a man who was as good as chased out of Anfield – the hero for the south Londoners after popping up with the late winner.
Benteke will be back on Merseyside on Friday night and, having scored nine goals in their last three Premier League matches, Pardew will feel that his side are more than capable of getting amongst the goals when they face the Toffees – and Palace will be feeling good about themselves, having won each of their last three Premier League games.
The visitors’ belief will be bolstered by the fact that they have scored seven goals – and collected seven points – from their last three visits to Goodison Park in the Premier League.
Palace, though, are not without their problems; they have had a run of rotten luck when it comes to injuries to defenders – and the Eagles will have a Scott Dann sized hole in their defence to contend with when they travel to take on the Toffees.
The importance of Dann to Palace is difficult to exaggerate – since the skipper limped off in the early stages of the Eagles’ EFL Cup defeat to Southampton last week, Palace have shipped four goals; Dann, too, poses problems for the opposition from set-pieces, having scored twice so far this season.
There has been goals at both ends in all but one of the last eight Merseyside meetings between those two teams in all competitions and with Pardew’s side popping in goals, the selection may be worth siding with once again.
Punters, though, should approach that particular selection with caution, for there have been goals at both ends in just one of Everton’s last six competitive matches.
Instead, punters should back a glut of goals in this one, for the last four meetings between the two teams at Goodison Park has produced an average of four goals. It is, therefore, the 6/7 quote for more than two goals to be scored that is the best bet for punters from Friday’s fixture.
Everton v Crystal Palace – Over 2.5 Goals (6/7 Marathon Bet)
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