Crystal Palace will host Everton at Selhurst Park in their first Premier League game of the season.
Roy Hodgson will begin his third season at Palace this time. The previous two have yielded similar results. Safety from the threat of relegation, but little progress in an upward direction. With the quality of the squad at his disposal, Hodgson could be hoping for something more. Palace are capable of giving an excellent game to any team in the division. But a lack of consistency meant that they finished 12th in the league last season.
The likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend are dangerous enough to give any side problems. However, the lack of a firing striker has troubled Palace. Christian Benteke has faced injury and form issues, and he is far from the level he displayed at Aston Villa. Connor Wickham is the only other option at Palace, but he is woefully out of touch as well. Michy Batshuayi had a short-term impact during his loan move last season, but it seems like he won’t return.
Zaha is currently being chased by Arsenal, and Palace are asking for a hefty fee for the winger. The Ivory Coast international is crucial to Palace’s fortunes, and their record without him is woeful. Hodgson will hope to keep Zaha, who signed a new contract a year ago. If he leaves, he will be the second key player to go. Manchester United signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka for £45 million last month after an impressive season last time for the youngster.
Everton will also look to reach new heights this season. Marco Silva’s first season at Goodison Park ended satisfactorily as the Toffees finished 8th last time. They were just three points below Wolves in seventh, which would have fetched them a Europa League berth. They were wobbling in the middle of the season, but a strong finish to the season has made the fans hopeful.
The squad at Silva’s disposal is a strong one. Everton made Andre Gomes’ deal from Barcelona permanent after a successful loan spell last season. Along with the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison, their attack can cause problems to anyone in the league. Just like Palace, the striker department is less convincing for Everton. At the moment Cenk Tosun and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are the options which Silva can deploy.
Everton have been linked with Juventus youngster Moise Kean, and his addition would be a huge boost for the Toffees. Everton hold the superior head to head record against Palace. They have not lost in the last nine meetings between these two sides.
Crystal Palace vs Everton Prediction
The game will be a tight one, as Palace like to keep it that way at Selhurst Park. Palace conceded just 23 league goals at home last season. The total goals in this game should be less than 2.5. Both sides will keep it tight, and a draw seems like the likely result in the opening game for both of them.