Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton
Bonus Points: Yerry Mina x3 (£5.5m), Michael Keane x2 (£5.5m), Jordan Pickford x1 (£5.5m)
Crystal Palace and Everton played out a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park that highlighted both sides’ serious need for a goalscoring forward in the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
However, it left Fantasy managers invested in the defences of each team delighted to get clean sheets at the first time of asking.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (£8.0m) had two excellent chances for Everton but couldn’t find the back of the net, disappointing the 14% of Fantasy
Meanwhile, strong defending from Michael Keane (£5.5m) and his colleagues, as well as some smart stops from Jordan Pickford (£5.5m), kept Palace at bay to ensure the Merseysiders continued their strong defensive form from the end of the 2018/19 season.
That was welcome news for those who had been a little concerned about the value in Everton’s defence in light of Idrissa Gueye’s departure and Kurt Zouma (£5.0m) remaining at Chelsea.
However, it must be said that Palace did spend the first 65 minutes without their talismanic forward player Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) who missed pre-season due to involvement in the African Cup of Nations and reportedly handed in a transfer request towards the end of the summer window.
Selected by 19.8% of managers ahead of Gameweek 1, Zaha was omitted from the starting XI by Roy
“I only really saw him on Friday, basically, because I sent him home on Thursday and we didn’t train on Wednesday. But if you are asking me how was he yesterday, he was fine. And today in the dressing room, and in the game? He was excellent in the dressing room, and you could see what he did in the game. The fact is that the situation has been and gone. I am sure Wilf will now make certain he brings his straw to the water to help us have a good season, just like he has in the past two seasons [when I have been here].” – Roy Hodgson
Saturday’s fixture against Everton highlighted that in spite of the situation regarding Zaha and the question marks over his commitment to the club, this is a player with raw and unparalleled ability in Palace’s squad and someone who could make a serious attacking impact for the Eagles in 2019/20. It took him coming on to spark Palace into life.
“I thought he handled it very well. The crowd helped didn’t it, giving him such a great reception. It was nice to have him available. I thought the two front players did an exceptional job, but they were tiring, and it was good to have him to come on, and Connor Wickham too to help keep that momentum that we had going in the latter part of the game. It was never going to be easy to break them down, although I hoped that we might eventually.” – Roy Hodgson
Max Meyer (£5.5m) had a string of promising chance for Palace, but the German couldn’t find a clinical cutting-edge as Hodgson’s side laboured in vain.
Christian Benteke (£6.0m) also fired a number of blanks with the Belgian appearing to be still short of confidence and unlikely to shoulder responsibility for Palace’s goals this season.
It was a similar story for Everton who began the match without new signing Moise Keane (£7.0m) in the starting line-up, the striker having not been involved in any of the Toffees’ pre-season matches.
After arriving as a 69th-minute substitute for Dominic Calvert Lewin (£6.0m), he showed glimpses of quality that suggested the hype surrounding his switch from Juventus could be justified.
The Italian should play an important role for the Toffees this season but may need time to find his feet, as well as earning the trust of Fantasy managers with more proven options such as Sigurdsson and Richarlison (£8.0m) currently available.
Pickford’s defensive performance underlined his value to Fantasy managers with a first clean sheet of the season. The defensive quartet of Lucas Digne (£6.0m), Yerry Mina (£5.5m) Seamus Coleman (£5.5m) and Keane shielded the England international from Palace’s efforts in the second half and will have inspired confidence in their Fantasy owners ahead of Watford’s trip to Goodison Park in Gameweek 2.
However, an injury to Andre Gomes (£5.5m) is an area of potential concern for Everton’s central midfield options. He was replaced by new signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin (£5.0m) in the 45th minute.
Silva confirmed that the 26-year-old is set to be assessed in the coming days and admitted that Everton suffered when he had to come off.
“The moment the game changed was the injury to André Gomes. We hope it’s not serious. When I changed it with Jean-Philippe Gbamin he had some problems, which is normal he needs to adapt, and when you sign new players, young players they need time to adapt and it was one of the keys for us because we started losing easy balls during that second-half.” – Marco Silva
Furthermore, Everton are already down one option in central midfield after Morgan Schneiderlin‘s (£4.5m) red card in the second half. He was dismissed for a second bookable offence in the 76th minute and will miss that meeting with Watford next weekend.
“I didn’t see the first [booking]. But the referee gave the second. For
meit was not, but Morgan should not react likehe did, if you are playing with a yellow card, you have a risk.” – Marco Silva
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Lessons learned from Gameweek 1
- Liverpool 4-1 Norwich
- West Ham United 0-5 Manchester City
- Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield United
- Burnley 3-0 Southampton
- Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton
- Watford 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Aston Villa
- Leicester City 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal
- Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea