EVERTON host Crystal Palace on Saturday. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets from the Premier League encounter.
Everton v Crystal Palace | Saturday 8th February 2020, 12:30 | BT Sport
Carlo Ancelotti has had a decent start to life as Everton manager, I think it’s fair to say. The experienced Italian coming to Merseyside was a real coup for the Goodison Park faithful given his startling managerial CV and credit to the owners of the club who promised a stellar name in the dugout – they’ve stuck to their promise in that regard.
The Toffees are on a decent run of late with just one loss in their last 10 fixtures and that came at the hands of current champions Manchester City, no shame there.
With a congested upper middle of the table, European spots are up for grabs, especially with the relative struggles at Manchester United and Arsenal this season. It would go down as a great season for Everton if they could break into that top-six considering their start of the season and struggles with injuries so far this term.
This is a winnable game for Everton though – Crystal Palace seem like a team in free-fall and it’s no surprise their form has dropped off given their performance data. Underlying metrics have Roy Hodgson’s outfit as one of the least creative in the league with their Expected Goals (xG) output the second lowest in the division (only Newcastle rank worse than the Eagles).
Palace have managed to stay competitive though and that’s credit to Roy – he knows how to get the odd point here and there and I’m not sure he will be too fussed about data as long as they’re getting results. But they’re starting to drop down the table and given how tight it is in the bottom half, the Eagles could easily get dragged into it.
I personally played Palace at 20/1 for relegation a month or two back and they’re into half that price now. It’s amazing they’re as high as they are in league given they’ve won just three of their last 17, and their last away victory came back in November.
It could be a relatively tight game but with the crowd behind them, and a bit more quality in the final third, the hosts should have too much for their opponents on Saturday lunchtime.
The betting angles
There’s a few plays in different markets that take appeal for this. I am keen on Everton to win but 4/6 quotes are a touch too short to put up, therefore I’ll happily chuck in Under 4.5 Goals which gives us a more backable 7/8 shot with Betway.
Palace have been one of the lowest scoring teams in the division and Everton are now unbeaten in nine of their last 10 matches in the Premier League. What’s more, history is onside for the Toffees with the Blues also avoiding defeat in their last 10 matches against Palace in across all competitions.
I’m not expecting a tonne of goals, though given Palace’s dogged defensive efforts, a low-scoring game could be on the cards. All of the Eagles’ defeats this season have seen fewer than five goals.
I’ve also always looked at right backs who are playing against Palace in the booking markets. Djibril Sidibe is likely to start in this position here and he will be up against the tricky Wilfred Zaha. Zaha is one of the top three most fouled players in the Premier League and direct opponents of his are always in danger of picking up a caution as they can’t deal with his pace or trickery.
I think any right back against Palace at odds of 4/1 or higher are worth a punt and Sidibe is likely to be in the firing line against one of the top three most fouled players in the league. The former
Monaco man is best price 5/1 with Unibet to be carded and it looks worth a small play
I’m also happy to dip into the shots market as there’s a great looking price for a player that doesn’t mind a pop. Gylfi Sigurdsson hasn’t had his best season but he’s starting to get a run of games, especially with the injuries the Toffees have in the middle of the park with Andre Gomes, Jean Phillipe Gbamin and Fabian Delph all out.
Morgan Schneiderlin is likely to come in and play the holding role and that means the Iceland international can get forward more. He’s sometimes on free kicks and likes a shot from distance too, so I’m surprised that Betfair go 5/6 on him attempting two or more shots. In my eyes, it’s too good to turn down, especially as Palace are likely to sit deep and encourage strikes from distance.