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Struggling Everton welcome improving Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace to win 1-0
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: Walton, Liverpool, Goodison ParkBet Now
Everton have fallen upon hard times once again, with the Toffees suffering three defeats on the spin to send them closer to the relegation places.
Frank Lampard’s men had previously won two of the bounce and gone unbeaten over a six-game spell. At that stage, they had the tightest defence in the league, although the goals have started to flow at the wrong end.
Starting with a defeat to Manchester United, similar results against Tottenham and Newcastle have since followed. They need a positive performance here to arrest their decline in form.
Crystal Palace appear to be on the up under Patrick Vieira, with two victories from their last three. While they have lost on three occasions this season, they have come against Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Against teams outside the Big Six, they have fared much better. Now in 10th, they will have their sights set further up the table.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Have Calvert-Lewin back fit will be a boost in the games to come
Won their last meeting with Palace back in May
Reasons to be fearful:
Looked poor going forward against Newcastle
Scored just two goals in their last four games
While Everton still have a decent defensive record this season, having conceded only 12 goals from their 11 games, it is going forward where their problems lie.
Only Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Wolves have scored fewer than Everton’s eight. While having Dominic Calvert-Lewin back in the starting line-up after injury is a big boost, there are more improvements needed.
In the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle in midweek, Everton managed only one attempt on goal. In the last 19 years, this has only happened once to Everton before, against Chelsea in 2016.
It is a poor reflection on a team that boasts several fine players going forward, and is something that Frank Lampard must address if his team are to push higher up the table.
Star Man – Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Calvert-Lewin has four goals from his previous nine appearances against Palace. This will be his second start since returning from injury and he’ll expect himself to create chances in front of goal.
Reasons to be cheerful
Won nine points from losing positions this season
Eze and Zaha are in top form right now
Reasons to be fearful
Have a habit of conceding goals
Haven’t won away in the league this season
Crystal Palace have become one of the toughest teams to play against in the league, especially at Selhurst Park.
Patrick Vieira has built a strong and determined team in his second season at the club. They are no longer a team that plays well on the counterattack but has little to offer defensively.
Despite their improvements at the back, Palace have built up a habit of going behind in games.
While Palace have won more points from losing positions than any other team in the league, this isn’t something that is sustainable in the long term.
On a positive note, they are improving going forward. In particular, Wilf Zaha and Eberechi Eze are linking together well, with the likes of Edouard and Olise backing them up.
They must improve their away form, starting here, as they are yet to win away from home this season.
Star Man – Wilf Zaha
Zaha is in fine form right now, as he usually is when Palace are doing well. He has five goals and an assist so far this season and his connection with Eze is working well for his team.
Everton must use their crowd to spur them on
Palace are more comfortable on the counter
Could be a single goal to settle it
While Crystal Palace have the better record of late, Patrick Vieira’s men haven’t fared especially well from home this season.
They also have a habit of going behind in games, which will eventually bite them where it hurts.
Everton are clearly short of confidence right now, having lost their last three games while scoring only once. At home, they will have the support of their fans, but they have been poor going forward for some time now.
With Palace’s forwards in such good form, it could be that they narrowly win this one.
Crystal Palace to win 1-0
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