By next weekend, based off digging and gut feeling, most of the active players in the FPL are going to play their second wildcard before the close of the GW33 deadline. Two teams feature twice in said Gameweek; Everton and Crystal Palace. The former is heavily inconsistent, whilst the latter just can't string together a point, let alone a win. The bigger picture will see players activate their wildcard for GW33, so they can play a chip such as bench boost or triple captain for DGW34, but there is the potential for big points when Crystal Palace entertain Everton in the additional fixture. We analyse the FPL options for both teams, looking at the pros and cons regarding their inclusion. All aboard?
Fixtures: Everton and Crystal Palace
The Toffees and The Eagles are the only two teams in the Premier League that are playing twice in 2 consecutive FPL Gameweek's this season. Here's a look at the fixture rundown for the next three weeks.
Fixtures (Crystal Palace)
GW31: Leicester (h)
GW32: West Ham (a)
GW33: Norwich (h), Everton (h)
GW34: Arsenal (a), Man United (a)
GW36: Newcastle (a)
GW37: Stoke (h)
GW38: Southampton (a)
GW31: Arsenal (h)
GW32: Man United (a)
GW33: Watford (a), Palace (a)
GW34: Southampton (h), Liverpool (a)
GW36: Bournemouth (h)
GW37: Leicester (a), Sunderland (a)
GW38: Norwich (h)
Everton (GW 33 &34)
Watford vs. Everton
Crystal Palace vs. Everton
Everton vs. Southampton
Liverpool vs. Everton
Crystal Palace (GW33 & 34)
Crystal Palace vs. Norwich
Crystal Palace vs. Everton
Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace
Man United vs. Crystal Palace
Home and Away: Findings
The Hype Train recently analysed if the top 10 players of each position (keepers, defenders, midfielders, and forwards) were scoring more points at home or away. All of the statistics and notes were produced before the deadline of GW32, so none of the facts and notes will reflect that matches that take place in GW32.
From the top 40 FPL players, there are only 3 players from Everton or Crystal palace that appear. Scott Dann, Ross Barkley, and Romelu Lukaku. Below, we've pulled their segments in the home or away article.
What we found is that Barkley and Lukaku are both big players at home, and occasionally struggle on the road, whilst it is Scott Dann that performs better away from home. Essentially, the shoe is on the wrong foot. With Everton play 3 of their next 4 away from home, and Palace playing twice at home in GW33, perhaps there might be a stalemate with the inclusion of any three.
Notes on Dann
Dann is the highest scoring defender this season, with 5 goals. He’s joint on 5 with Sunderland’s Patrick van Aanholt, who scored 4 goals in 4 consecutive games.
Despite scoring 5 goals as a defender, Dann has only managed 11 bonus points, which ranks him at joint 13th.
Dann has played in 29/30 games this season, only missing the GW6 1-0 loss to Spurs.
Crystal Palace have kept 6 clean sheets this season. Dann has been a part of all 6.
The 2015/16 season is already proving to be Dann’s best. Currently on 112 points, the next best season was 2014/15 when the Englishman finished on 105 points.
Dann scored against both Merseyside clubs away from home this season (GW12 against Liverpool, and GW15 verses Everton)
Dann’s best home days…
GW3 (Aston Villa, home): 14pts
GW8 (West Brom, home): 7pts
GW11 (Man United, home): 6pts
GW16 (Southampton, home): 6pts
GW19 (Swansea, home): 6pts
GW24 (Bournemouth, home): 6pts
Dann’s best away days…
GW7 (Watford, away): 9pts
GW12 (Liverpool, away): 10pts
GW15 (Everton, away): 9pts
GW18 (Bournemouth, away): 6pts
GW25 (Swansea, away): 9ts
GW28 (Sunderland, away): 3pts
Notes on Barkley
• Despite being in the Dream Team of midfielders, Barkley has only managed returns in 3 games this season. He’s blanked in the remaining 20 games.
• Barkley has managed 4 double digit weeks in the FPL: GWs 2, 14, 15, 24
Barkley’s best home days…
GW1 (Watford, home): 9pts
GW5 (Chelsea, home): 9pts
GW13 (Aston Villa, home): 19pts
GW17 (Leicester, home): 9pts
GW19 (Stoke, home): 5pts
GW24 (Newcastle, home): 16pts
Barkley’s best away days…
GW2 (Southampton, away): 11pts
GW10 (Arsenal, away): 7pts
GW14 (Bournemouth, away): 13pts
Notes on Lukaku
Since GW22, Lukaku’s price has fallen from 9.3m to 8.9m.
8/18 of Lukaku’s goals came between GWs 11-17. In addition, Big Room has only scored 3 goals in the second half of the season (GW20 onwards).
Lukaku is joint with 2 other forwards on 25 bonus points: Ighalo and Vardy. Only Harry Kane, with 27, has more.
Lukaku has scored 2 goals in one game on 4 occasions this season: GWs 2,7, 13, 19
The Belgian forward has been substituted 7/30 times this season.
Big Rom’s best home days…
GW1 (Watford, home): 5pts
GW8 (Liverpool, home): 7pts
GW11 (Sunderland, home): 14pts
GW13 (Aston Villa, home): 12pts
GW15 (Crystal Palace, home): 8pts
GW17 (Leicester, home): 6pts
GW19 (Stoke, home): 13pts
GW20 (Spurs, home): 5pts
GW29 (West Ham, home): 7pts
Big Rom’s best away days…
GW2 (Southampton, away): 13pts
GW7 (West Brom, away): 16pts
GW12 (West Ham, away): 8pts
GW14 (Bournemouth, away): 6pts
GW16 (Norwich, away): 9pts
GW25 (Stoke, away): 9pts
GW28 (Aston Villa, away): 5pts
When they last met?
How times have changed. Crystal Palace were favourites for their away trip to Everton. The game finished 1-1, with Lukaku securing a point. It was the infamous Gerard Deulofeu that was robbed of an assist due to Gareth Barry.
As you'll see below, the big hitters Scott Dann and Romelu Lukaku scored, which should come as a welcome boost for FPL players planning on playing both of the players for the Gameweek.
You can click here to view the official Premier League match report, or click on the photo below, to have a glance back at the early December meeting.
GW15 WILDCARD OPTION:
YANNICK BOLASIE, EVERTON VS CRYSTAL PALACE
Player Name: Yannick Bolasie
Club: Crystal Palace
If there is one thing that gets Alan Pardew’s tongue wagging is the thought of taking Yannick Bolasie to Merseyside. A few Gameweek's ago Bolasie scored the first goal for the Eagles in their customary win over Liverpool, and last year he scored the winner in this very fixture against Everton. Playing as a striker and registered as a midfielder is his biggest selling point, against Newcastle he was paired with Connor Wickham who struck up a good partnership to tear apart the Toon, so expect more ruthless attacking against Everton. Goals are guaranteed in this game and with stock high in Bolasie it might be another barnstorming week for the tricky attacker from Congo.
To click back to see how things have changed, and who other than Bolasie we backed, click here, or on the cover photo below.
2014/2015: Crystal Palace vs. Everton
If you're thinking of captaining Lukaku for the DGW33, then there's even better news. He found the net in the only goal of the game in the 2014/15 campaign, when both teams, much like this year, finished admirably in mid-table. Palace survived relegation due to the Pardew effect, and Everton were suffering an inconsistent season under Martinez. At the time, many thought that this year would be the year where the Toffees would explode into form, but that's never materialised.
The Fall of Crystal Palace
After Palace rescued a point away at West Ham, this preview wouldn't be complete without a look into the past. Posted on Christmas eve 2015, our Chief Writer, Sam Austin, previewed the rise of Crystal Palace. Below is our opening blurb about how Palace were riding high in 5th, celebrating Xmas in style.
"Alan Pardew has been a catalyst for a club that last season was struggling to keep its head above water in the Premier League. Whilst Leicester are taking the plaudits for their work at the top of the table it is the Londoner's who are slowly creeping up the table and staking a claim for a European place. The Hype Train looks at some of the factors surrounding the club, and what they have, what they need to do, including their players, and a new investment that might just elevate this club into the stratosphere."
Perhaps more tragic is the fall of Palace since we wrote this cursed article. Palace haven't won since, and it looks likely as of writing that the Eagles might just scrape survival by the skins of their teeth. All really depends on one match, Alan Pardew's next return to St James's Park. We think they'll be fine in terms of safety, mostly due to the actions of Newcastle and Sunderland in the last month, and the inability to really generate any kind of survival momentum.
To read our nostalgic article about Crystal Palace's push for Europe before Christmas, click here, or click on cover stars Bolasie and Cabaye.
FPL Options for DGW33
Recent history in the league and today couldn't be any more different, any more strained from what we knew before Xmas. Palace were 5th, firing on all cylinders. Everton had a lot of promise but fizzled out over the Christmas period. Form players in the FPL have radically changed for Everton in particular.
Everton: Before Xmas Form Players
Everton: Current Form Players
Crystal Palace: FPL Options (Before Xmas)
Crystal Palace: Current Form Players
Wickham (if fit)
Palace have just caught a whiff of momentum after securing a draw at West Ham, and perhaps it's a sign of things to come for DGW33. Alan Pardew has confirmed that Connor Wickham should be back for the Norwich home game, and if that is the case, Palace could be a heavy hitter for the week. It's not the first time a Double Gameweek has wielded big returns for a team in the bottom half of the table.
FPL historians will remember Hull beating Liverpool by a single goal, with Craig Dawson scoring the only goal. Last season there was also big returns for Sunderland defenders as they drew 0-0 at the Emirates to secure their own survival. With 4 games, and 2 consecutive Double Gameweek's for both teams, there is clean sheet potential for both teams. Damien Delaney (4.3m) looks a budget choice at the back for Palace, carrying momentum after scoring away at West Ham, and he wouldn't break the bank either. The same applies for Everton's keeper, Joel Robles (4.3m), who we previewed above. Wayne Hennessey (4.2m) is as admirable back-up if you're not keen on Everton's clean sheet potential. Higher up the defensive price ladder, Sheamus Coleman (5.8m) is a potential bonus points machine, picking up 2 in a 1-0 defeat against Man United. Scott Dann (5.7m) scores more points away from home, and finds the net more often when not at Selhurst Park, but he is by far and away the best Palace asset heading into DGW33. The only drawback to Dann is the inflated price tag, with FPL managers more likely to invest in premium defenders for Arsenal (Bellerin, Monreal, Koscielny) than they are a Palace defender without a clean sheet in 12 games.
In midfield, Everton lead the way with potential attacking returns that feel more likely to happen. Aaron Lennon (5.6m) is finding the net, and is a definite differential inclusion. We'll keep touting that Ross Barkley (7.1m) just isn't an FPL option away from home, and is only capable of big returns at home. For Palace, Cabaye is yellow card prone, and carries a thigh strain heading into DGW33, leaving Yannick Bolasie (6.0m) as the key to unlocking Norwich and Everton. If you want to hit far left field, Bakary Sako (5.0m) started up top for Palace away at West Ham, but could be disposed by a returning Connor Wickham (5.5m) or a resurgant Dwight Gayle (5.1m) should Pardew give the nod to either.
In terms of captaincy, FPL managers won't be too surprised to see Romelu Lukaku (8.9m, going up in price steadily) lead the charge in attack. Lukaku has 3 goals in his last 6 games, and despite having very little service, the big Belgian is always capable of adding to his 18 goals this season. He's our locked on essential for the week.
Will any of our fantasy desires actually come true?
Lukaku and Aaron Lennon are the leading favourites for points, and even though THE FPL would so desperately love Everton and Palace to turn into defensive juggernauts, it's unlikely to happen. Both teams are languishing in the bottom half of the table for a reason: neither team has found consistency.
That said, we expect Palace to tighten up at the back as they prepare for a relegation showdown. Two home games against Norwich and Everton is encouragement enough to at least gamble with one or more options in defence. As for the Toffees? It's as if the team flips a coin on the day. You never know what team is going to turn up. The gamble will only be worth it of you're willing to invest in assets that you'd have felt uncomfortable putting in to your team any other week. Both teams may be causing a root of uncertainty, but at the very least you don't want your mini-league rivals investing in the Everton/Palace gamble and reaping the rewards. It's time to be brave with selection. If your plan blows up in your face, you'll know you were never alone.