There’s a reduced schedule in the Premier League this weekend as the authorities try to schedule a mid winter break.
But we do have a couple of live games to enjoy today, starting with the clash between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.
The home side are starting to believe in themselves again. Prior to the appointment of serial winner Carlo Ancelotti as manager the Toffees had lost eight of their last 11. Since they have lost just once in 10.
Crystal Palace are a tricky team to judge away from home, but they haven’t won in six games and frantic attempts to freshen up the squad during the transfer window resulted in nothing.
We’ll side with the home team, and note with interest that giant central defender Yerry Mina scored twice last weekend against Watford. We’ve always struggled to understand his lack of goals for Everton given the threat he was in the air for Colombia in the World Cup.
Maybe these goals will provide the launchpad for more as the season develops, and we’ll take SkyBet’s enhanced 14/1 that he scores with a header today.
The late game sees Brighton host Watford at the Amex Stadium, with both teams desperately in need of points.
Watford have responded strongly to the appointment of Nigel Pearson as manager, although the defeat to Everton last week after being 2-0 up will really hurt.
We’ll be interested to see what reaction Pearson generates from his players this week – we expect it to be physical!
Troy Deeney is at the heart of Watford’s effort. Since Pearson’s return only Aguero and Salah have scored more goals in the Premier League than the Watford captain.
We expect him to lead from the front again today, by putting pressure on the Brighton central defenders. This could lead to him seeing yellow, but could also create chances.
Everton/Crystal Palace: Mina to score a header, 1 pt, at 14/1, SkyBet
Brighton/Watford: Deeney to be booked, 1 pt, at 9/2, bet365; Deeney to have over 1 shot on target, 1 pt, at 7/2, William Hill
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