The next installment of the Premier League’s new wave of Friday night fixtures takes us to Goodison Park where Everton play host to Crystal Palace. Ronald Koeman’s side tasted defeat for the first time last Saturday away at Bournemouth and after being second going into that game they have now slipped to 5th. That said a win here tonight and they would go back to second for 24 hours at least.
That defeat to Bournemouth not only was an upset but it would have been a huge disappointment to Koeman after such an impressive start to the season, the hope will be that it was just a minor blip and they can put that behind them although they do face an inform Crystal Palace side who are unbeaten in their last four league matches with the last three encounters resulting in wins for Alan Pardew’s side
Last Saturday saw them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as they came from 2-0 down to beat Sunderland 3-2. A last minute Christian Benteke header consigned Sunderland to the bottom of the table as they crumpled under late Palace pressure. Two of the three wins for Palace this season have come away from home and they will fancy their chances of making it a third successive win on the road.
For Alan Pardew this season could take on even more importance as what he does with the South London side could in essence become a virtual job interview for the vacant England position. Although he led his side to the F.A. Cup Final last season, their league form was abysmal in 2016 and that put somewhat of a black mark next to his chances of succeeding from Roy Hodgson but after the events of this week, Pardew could be very much back in the mix again.
If Palace are to win then they are going to have to keep Romelu Lukaku quiet, he has already found the net 4 times this season but drew a blank last week as Everton become unstuck on the South Coast. That was the first time this season that Everton have failed to score, while after a slow start and not finding the net in their opening two matches it seems as if Palace are finding their groove infront of goal with 9 goals coming in their last 3.
Who will win tonight what these both being two relatively in form teams, I think the advantage will slightly be with Everton as they look to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointment and although Palace will have their tails up coming into the game, I think it will be Everton who win and temporarily return to 2nd in the table. Home win for me.