Everton v Crystal Palace

Fresh, if you can say that, from shipping five at the Emirates, Everton welcome Crystal Palace to Goodison Park on Saturday.

That defeat was just another in a series of abysmal performances this campaign.


To put it into context, the 5-1 score line was the second time Everton have been on the wrong end of such a hiding this term. Atalanta enjoyed similar joy at the Grand Old Lady back in November.

Sam Allardyce’s rash decision to dramatically change the eleven who picked up three points against Leicester a few days prior to the north London horror show did not go down well with Evertonians.

Somehow, there are 10 teams in the division who are worse off than Everton, and Crystal Palace are one of them.

The Eagles are 14th, just four points behind the hosts.

But Palace won’t be complaining now after the start they made to the season.

Frank de Boer was sacked and replaced by Roy Hodgson after four games and it took the Londoners over two months to score their first Premier League goal and collect their opening win of the season against Champions Chelsea in October.

The visitors are winless in three coming into this one, with draws against Newcastle and West Ham in their last two outings. They also suffered an Emirates mauling, going down 4-1.

Three points for Everton, depending on how Bournemouth get on against Huddersfield on Sunday, could see them rise back to ninth. An away win would see Palace go level on points with 11thplaced Watford and just one point behind the Blues.

One to watch 

Luka Milivojevic is the Eagles’ top scorer this season with six strikes, despite operating in more of a defensive midfield role. The Serb is Palace’s penalty taker, but is just as capable of finding the net from open play.

Coming up against a side that has leaked 45 league goals this term, Milivojevic will fancy his chances of upping his tally.

Team news 

Leighton Baines is stepping up in his recovery, but this one is too soon for the veteran left back.

Ramiro Funes Mori made his Everton comeback after 10 months out when he lined up for the under 23 side on Monday evening, but isn’t expected to feature for the first team just yet.

Palace have a lengthy injury list, they will be without Jeffrey Schlupp, Bakary Sako, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Julian Speroni, Martin Kelly and key man Wilfried Zaha.

Zaha’s injury is a massive boost for Everton, as the Ivory Coast international has already tormented the Toffees’ backline earlier this season.

Good omen or massive jinx? Crystal Palace haven’t won in the league without Zaha since September 2016.

Man in the middle 

Jon Moss will take the whistle. He took centre stage in both of Spurs’ penalties at Anfield last weekend.  In the 24 games he has taken charge of in 17/18, he has shown 87 yellow cards and dismissed three player .

Up the Toffees.

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