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Premier League preview: Thursday’s action including Everton vs Crystal Palace

Everton vs Crystal Palace

Football

Premier League preview: Thursday’s action including Everton vs Crystal Palace

Premier League preview: Thursday’s action including Everton vs Crystal Palace

Everton vs Crystal Palace

Conventional wisdom says Everton will probably avoid the drop. Certainly, if they beat Crystal Palace in this, their penultimate game of the season, they’ll avoid relegation.

But the Toffees were chewed up and spat out by Brentford at Goodison Park on Sunday. Everton ended the game with nine men on the pitch, losing 3-2 to Thomas Frank’s side. Could Patrick Vieira’s team inflict a similarly devastating defeat on Super Frankie Lampard’s side?

It’s been a good season for Palace, a club many predicted would face their own relegation struggles under Vieira. The Eagles are unbeaten in their last four league matches.

Toffees fans will be praying that the result goes their way. But it could inject incredible drama into the final day if the visitors were able to stun Everton on Thursday night. Everton’s last game of the season is away to an Arsenal team looking to end their campaign on a positive note after recent setbacks.

Regarding the encounter with Palace, history is encouraging for the hosts, albeit with a slight nagging concern. Everton have lost just one of their last 14 Premier League meetings with this side – but the defeat came this season.

Palace have been behind in each of their last two away games, but have fought back on both occasions. They earned a draw against Villa at the weekend, and a win against Saints a few weeks back.

It’s fair to say the Toffees have played in conservative fashion in recent outings. Playing at home, their recent possession stats are 27.5% against Brentford, 21.7% against Chelsea, 36.7% against Leicester, 32.5% against Man Utd and 38% against both Wolves and Newcastle. Palace should have plenty of the ball, then. Can they do something with it?

It might be worth taking a punt on the Double Chance Palace or the draw at 23/25. But if you don’t want to risk backing the outcome, maybe the cards are a good option. Palace’s last four games have all seen at least four cards, while four of Everton’s last six outings have produced at least five cards.

You can back over 4.5 cards at 13/10. Even after the red cards last time out, there’s definitely still scope for this one to be feisty.

Aston Villa vs Burnley

Can Steven Gerrard help Liverpool do what he never achieved as a player, helping them to win the league title? Before Villa set out to tear Man City’s season asunder, first they’ll be attempting to leave Burnley feeling bummed out too.

If Villa can’t beat the Clarets you’d think Sunday’s showdown with Pep Guardiola is a foregone conclusion. So will Villa leave Michael Jackson’s side moonwalking their way to misery in the Championship? Defeat here would mean Burnley could still go down if Leeds win against Brentford on Sunday.

The good news for the visitors is they’ve only lost one of their last seven league visits to Villa Park. But Villa will want to sign off for the season in positive style, and Burnley have lost their last two matches – one of those defeats coming against, uh, Villa.

Yep, the reverse fixture was played out just a couple of weeks ago, Villa winning 3-1 on that occasion. And Burnley are hardly renowned for winning on the road this season, mustering just two away wins – against Brighton and Watford.

Villa are Evens to win, while Ollie Watkins is 5/1 to score the opener; Watkins has three goals in his last four matches.

Chelsea vs Leicester

This game doesn’t count for a whole hill of beans in this topsy-turvy world. Still, after the pain of losing a third FA Cup final on the bounce, will Chelsea want to work off some aggression by flattening the Foxes? Or are the Blues’ hearts just not in this one?

Leicester didn’t look as if they were on the beach as they cruised to victory over Watford at the weekend. There could be goals in this one, whichever way it goes – the Foxes last four games have all featured a minimum of three goals, while three of Chelsea’s last four home games have had at least four goals. Over 3.5 goals is a 13/8 shot.

Otherwise, Jamie Vardy has been in excellent form with four goals in his last two outings. Even with other stuff going on in his life – if this was a WAG court case preview we’d struggle to find an angle for backing Rebekah V – Leicester’s tenacious striker may be worth a punt here. Vardy is 27/10 to score at any time.

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