Premier League Preview – Everton
Ahead of another much needed break for the Eagles, it is a trip to Merseyside to take on a side managed by Sam Allardyce for the first time since he left South London to ‘retire’ from football.
Whatever fans views are on Allardyce, there is no doubting that he did a job for us which was required at the time although it would have been interesting to see how he would have done with a summer behind him. We will never know and his stint at Selhurst Park has long since been consigned to the history books.
Big Sam now finds himself in the hot seat at Goodison Park and it is one that has been warming up in recent weeks with a rough run of form being experienced by the Toffees. They have managed just one win and a draw from the last five games but the good run before that had catapulted them up into the top ten which has held firm.
Roy Hodgson will be reeling like the fans are following the loss of Wilfried Zaha for the next four to six weeks due to a knee injury. However, if there is any period of games that he would have to sit out, it would be next batch ahead of a favourable six game run in to the end of the season.
There will have to be a plan by Hodgson and his coaching staff with one weapon no longer at their disposal but there is a real feeling that the likes of Andros Townsend and Christian Benteke will have to step up and be counted over the next few weeks. Whether Hodgson opts to hand a debut to Alexander Sorloth or use Chung-yong Lee remains to be seen.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Wilfried Zaha (knee), Julian Speroni (knee), Bakary Sako (ankle), Jeffrey Schlupp (knee), Scott Dann (knee), Jason Puncheon (knee), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (ankle) and Connor Wickham (knee) all miss out. Martin Kelly (hamstring) will face a late fitness test.
EVERTON – Ramiro Funes Mori (fitness) and Seamus Coleman (illness) are both doubts while James McCarthy (leg), Leighton Baines (calf) and Maarten Stekelenburg (groin) are unavailable.
The last time the two sides met at Goodison Park was in September 2016 where the points were shared. The hosts took the lead through Romelu Lukaku ten minutes before the break but the Eagles were quick to equalise after half time courtesy of Christian Benteke.
Who Scored man of the match – Joel Ward (8.2)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 18/11/2017 Crystal Palace 2-2 Everton
- 21/01/2017 Crystal Palace 0-1 Everton
- 30/09/2016 Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace
- 13/04/2016 Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton
- 07/12/2015 Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 04/02/2018 Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United
- 30/01/2018 West Ham United 1-1 Crystal Palace
- 20/01/2018 Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace
- 13/01/2018 Crystal Palace 1-0 Burnley
- 08/01/2018 Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Everton;
- 03/02/2018 Arsenal 5-1 Crystal Palace
- 31/01/2018 Everton 2-1 Leicester City
- 20/01/2018 Everton 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
- 13/01/2018 Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Everton
- 05/01/2018 Liverpool 2-1 Everton
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Wilfried Zaha 7.17
- James Tomkins 7.16
- Cuco Martina 6.96
- Mason Holgate 6.95
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Newbury, Swindon Town, Southampton, Arsenal
The 28 year old began his career at Newbury in 1999 before moving to Swindon in 2000. Southampton came calling soon afterwards and is where he made his professional debut in 2005. He became the youngest player to appear in their reserve team at 15 years and 175 days. After plenty of rave reviews in only a handful of appearances for the South Coast club, Walcott signed for Arsenal in 2006 for a fee of what was an initial £5million. Perhaps a victim of his want to play in the striker role rather than out wide, the Stanmore born player moved to Everton in January for a deal to be in the region of £20million after making close to 300 appearances for the Gunners.
Having featured in the under 16, 17, 19 and 21 levels for England, he made his full international debut against Hungary in 2006 having yet to make his first appearance for Arsenal. To date, he is close to making fifty appearances for his country.
Final league position – 10th
With the money that has been spent on the squad this season both by former boss Ronald Koeman and Big Sam since his appointment, this side should be pushing a top eight position. However, there seems to have been a number of players that have not been able to hit the ground running. A season where fans had hoped that the team would push on has become one of transition and while they should be able to steer well clear of the dogfight in and around the bottom three, it will still likely be a disappointing finish in the fans view.
- TEB prediction – draw
- Sean Lunt’s prediction (see link below) – home win
- Who Scored prediction – home win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 6/5
- Draw – 21/10
- Away – 5/2
- Both teams to score – evens