Although Crystal Palace and Everton were virtually level pegging after seventeen games, it has to be borne in mind that the Toffees were handed a ten-point deduction and they have actually enjoyed far stronger form than their opponents. The teams will both fancy their chances of success when it comes to this English FA Cup third round encounter.

Everton managed to navigate their way through to the last eight of the EFL Cup, with the Merseyside outfit then losing in a penalty shootout. Previously to this, they secured four victories in the Premier League and we can also reflect on the 3-2 win at Selhurst Park on Saturday 11 November where Idrissa Gueye scored a late winner.

One reason to back the Toffees is their defensively watertight ways which has seen them rack up a string of clean sheets, with Everton shutting out teams such as Newcastle and Chelsea. Former Burnley pair James Tarkowski and Michael Keane are operating well in tandem and the same applies to Jarrad Branthwaite who has recently returned from injury.

Palace have the same old problem of finding the net and they have won just two of fourteen games played at the time of writing. Perhaps a recent 2-2 draw at Manchester City might serve as a confidence booster, with this result coming after home defeats against Bournemouth and Liverpool.


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