Big Sam needs to build around Gylfi Sigurdsson at Everton

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Everton were awful in last weekend’s 5-1 defeat to Arsenal. Now they have a big game against Crystal Palace this weekend.

Sam Allardyce lined up with a back three instead of a back four at the Emirates. But Arsenal took full advantage of the extra space in midfield and were 4-0 up by half-time.

The move to a back three meant Gylfi Sigurdsson was left out of the side. But starting with the game against Palace, Allardyce should make the playmaker central to his plans.

Sigurdsson has occasionally played out wide during his time at Everton, allowing Wayne Rooney to take the number 10 role.

But the 28-year-old is at his best in the middle. It’s where his passing and long-range shooting are most effective. He’s 5/2 to make 1+ assists against Palace.

Everton brought in Cenk Tosun up front in January and Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott are both able to fly down the flanks. With Sigurdsson pulling the strings, that has the makings of a potent attack.

And for a manager that places huge importance on set pieces, Allardyce couldn’t have a better weapon than the Iceland international.

Whether he’s taking aim from a free-kick or whipping in a corner, few players are as dangerous in a dead-ball situation.

Sigurdsson’s presence in the side probably means Rooney might miss out. It would be a big decision, but Allardyce admitted in January that the pair’s lack of legs makes it’s hard to play them together.

Rooney may have scored 10 league goals this term, but Sigurdsson is four years younger and a more natural fit as the main playmaker.

He may not get as many goals as the former England captain but he’s likely to make Everton a better side overall.

Click here for the latest Everton v Crystal Palace odds.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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