Everton and Palace should be prepared to pay the penalty

Five penalties have been awarded – and scored – in the last six meetings between Crystal Palace and Everton. Let’s hope Tim Howard and Julian Speroni have practised saving spot kicks in training.

Still fancied for relegation at 6/4, the Eagles have won three of their last four Premier League games under Tony Pulis, but go to Goodison Park with a poor record against the Toffees.

It’s one win in seven for plucky Palace when they have encountered this opposition. They held Everton to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture but, with points so precious for both the Eagles and Toffees to realise their respective ambitions, don’t expect a repeat of that here.

Roberto Martinez has seen Everton’s momentum checked as he bids to crash the top four. His Toffees are 8/1 to end the season in a Champions League place now following damaging defeats at Spurs and in the Merseyside derby.

Everton nonetheless start as odds-on favourites at 4/9. It’s 10/3 for the draw and 7/1 for a Palace win. All four Toffees wins in the last seven meetings have contained four goals, so punters must look to the total goals markets.

Coral offer attractive odds of 11/4 on that number being over 3.5. Three of those four Everton victories came by a 3-1 scoreline, so prices of 14/5 on a home win and both teams scoring, and 14/1 on Martinez’s men winning by that margin are worth considering also.

Martinez confirmed he will be handing gigantic Ivory Coast international striker Lacina Traore his Toffees debut at some point in this match. The 6ft 8in behemoth is evens to cap this with a goal at any time.

In the absence of Romelu Lukaku, Belgium’s Kevin Mirallas and Scot Steven Naismith have rotated up front for Everton. They are also both even money to score against the Eagles.

Two of Palace’s deadline-day captures Tom Ince and Joe Ledley netted on their bows against West Bromwich Albion. Winger Ince is 7/2 to grab another goal here and Wales midfielder Ledley is a 11/2 shot.