CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Saturday's showdown between Crystal Palace and Everton.
Crystal Palace vs Everton | Saturday 26th September 2020, 15:00 | Amazon Prime
Crystal Palace welcome Carlo Ancelotti and his revitalised Everton side to Selhurst Park and both will be keen to extend their 100% start to the new campaign.
Roy Hodgson’s men have quietly gone about their business and last time out, dominated Manchester United at Old Trafford to seal all three points with what appeared to be relative ease. They now play host to a side who they’ve struggled to beat on home soil in recent years.
Everton have also come flying out of the blocks, with wins away at Tottenham and at home to West Brom respectively. The additions of James Rodriguez and Allan in midfield have been fundamental to their early success and Toffees boss Ancelotti will be hopeful that can continue throughout the remainder of the season.
- Have failed to score in SEVEN of their last EIGHT home games against Everton in all competitions.
- Under 2.5 goals has landed in NINE of their last TEN Premier League home games.
- Have never won their opening THREE games of a top-flight season.
- Of all the sides who have played a minimum of two games this season, Palace have the lowest average possession per match (27%).
- Are undefeated in their last 11 matches against Palace in all competitions.
- Other than Goodison Park, Everton have kept more clean sheets at Selhurst Park than at any other venue.
- Are looking to start an EPL campaign with three straight victories for the first time since 1993/94.
- Are currently averaging 16 shots per-game this season with a conversion rate of 18.8%. Compare that to last season when they averaged just 12 shots and a conversion rate of 9.4%.
- Crystal Palace have had a full week to prepare, unlike Everton.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin had a slight hamstring problem last time out but should be fit for this one.
- Both sides could potentially field unchanged line-ups after excellent results in their previous games respectively.
Referee – Kevin Friend:
- Awarded a colossal 31 fouls in the previous game he officiated between Newcastle and Brighton.
- In his all-time stats, of teams he has overseen more than 10 times, Crystal Palace have the second-highest number of cards awarded per game on average – 2.29 per game.
My first pick sees us go to the fouls market at Unibet – the line is currently at 23.5 and I really like there to be more than that.
Palace were the second-most fouled side per-game last season, largely due to Wilfried Zaha drawing a high number of stoppages. Everton have shown this season that they are willing to work hard, maintain a high press and not give their opponents much time on the ball.
I think Palace will use Zaha as their main outlet like they do most of the time, and I think they’ll draw a high number of fouls on their own.
Last time out Kevin Friend wasn’t scared to blow his whistle and awarded a huge 31 fouls. As such, I believe this pick is overpriced at 21/20.
My second selection is for Everton shots. As already mentioned, Everton are averaging 16 shots per-game this season. The additions of James and Allan has transformed their midfield. They’re quick to win back possession and create a host of chances for their centre forwards.
Richarlison hasn’t been in the best form, despite many considering him to be the Toffees star forward. He’s watched as Calvert-Lewin has taken all of the plaudits thanks to his terrific finishing in front of goal. So he alone will be fired up and will be wanting to get off the mark.
With the Blues upping the ante in terms of their attacking play, I think this price to have just 15 shots or more is more than worth getting on.