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Evans must tame Townsend threat

The Scout 12 Aug 2016

Selecting battles to decide Gameweek 1 fortunes, The Scout sees a key head-to-head at Selhurst Park

Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace have always looked to their wingers to prise open opponents.

Both Yannick Bolasie (£6.0m) and Wilfried Zaha (£5.5m) were charged with providing this threat for most of last season, but Pardew has since reinforced his options with the acquisition of Andros Townsend (£6.5m) from Newcastle United.

Townsend is a very different proposition to his wing rivals.

jonny evans.jpg
Jonny Evans is owned by 8% of managers

In FPL terms both Bolasie and Zaha have struggled to live up to their billing. The pair produced just seven goals and eight assists between them over 53 Premier League starts in 2016/17. 

Townsend promises a more effective end product. He chipped in with four vital goals in 13 appearances for Newcastle and, while that failed to preserve their top-flight status, it offered a reminder of his abilities.

He will head into the opening-day fixture with West Bromwich Albion as a match-winner in waiting.

Townsend is set to line up on the right flank, allowing him to cut inside and bring his renowned left-foot strikes into play.

Tony Pulis could be forced into fielding Jonny Evans (£4.5m) to counter that threat.

West Brom have been deprived of regular left-back Chris Brunt (£5.0m) through injury and, to this point, have struggled to fill the void in the transfer market.

Evans’s qualities as a versatile defender are not in doubt but, fielded out of position and up against the key Palace danger man, he would face a testing afternoon.

The outcome of this particular duel could be vital to the Selhurst Park clash. 

More than 23% of FPL squads have at least one West Brom defender in place, with 8% of managers owning Evans. They will be hoping that their man can deprive Townsend a regular sight of goal.

Meanwhile, the winger heads into his full Palace debut backed by just 5.9% of FPL managers, a surprisingly modest ownership for a player who has the talent and platform to thrive in his new surrounds from day one.

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