Garrett's Gambles - Soccer - April 5
Everton vs Crystal Palace
When: Monday at 1:00 p.m. EST
2021 Soccer Record: April +0.26u YTD: -4.48u
Three Way Money Line: Everton (-120) Draw (+240) Crystal Palace (+375)
Monday sees a Premier League double-header starting off with Everton hosting Crystal Palace. Everton started the season brightly winning their first seven games in all competitions, but have been barley hanging onto dreams of European play since then with up and down form. The international break in play has provided respite for both clubs as they are in desperate need of getting their players healthy. However, both squads still riddled with injuries and missing key components. Everton are missing Bernard, their starting keeper in Jordan Pickford, and the engine of their midfield Abdoulaye Doucoure. For Crystal Palace, they could be missing up to five starters. The pause in league play could not have come at a better time for Everton as their form had been dreadful leading up to it with three straight losses in all competitions. Crystal Palace were in better form picking up eight points out of a possible fifteen heading into the two-week layoff. There is some good news for Everton on the fitness front in that star man James Rodriguez should be back in the starting XI for this match. He has been the X factor for the Toffees this season and his return to the pitch should be inspiring.
When breaking down these two teams the numbers look bleak. Crystal Palace have only kept one clean sheet on the road this season and have a minus 10 goal difference when playing outside of Selhurst Park. The numbers are equally rough for Everton when playing at home. They have lost seven of 14 home matches this season including four of their last five in all competitions.
Crystal Palace consistently rely on individual brilliance for their offensive play and goal creation. They are near the bottom of the league in big chances created and concede 1.5 goals per game. For Everton, their numbers are rough without context, as they have missed some key cogs this season. When they had their “big five” to start the season they averaged 3.4 goals per game. They should have four of the five back for this game and I expect the offense to start finding its way again. Everton are also one of the better set piece clubs in the Premier League with 12 goals from set pieces this season. The biggest edge in this game is coaching as Carlo Ancelloti for Everton is a proven manager and is better than Roy Hodgson in every way.
Crystal Palace are simply missing some important players in their midfield and backline. A much healthier Palace side lost to a much less talented Everton side the last time Eagles played at Goodison Park with a score line of 3-1. Everton’s recent form and home play provides us with a large value on the money line and so I will be taking the Everton (-120) money line for two units.