On Saturday, Everton will host Crystal Palace at Goodison Park hoping to avoid a fourth consecutive loss in the Premier League. Toffees fell on the road against Newcastle United while the Eagles rallied to defeat Wolverine Wanderers at home.
Our Match Preview: Everton vs Crystal Palace
Frank Lampard looked to be developing momentum with Everton at the start of this season, going seven games undefeated in all competitions between August and October. Merseysiders have subsequently lost three straights, including 1-0 against Newcastle on Wednesday.
They are now 15th in the Premier League, one point above the relegation zone. Lampard has lots to think about as they approach their last five games before the World Cup, but he’ll be confident that Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace will get them back on track.
Everton is undefeated in their past seven home encounters against Palace, including last season’s 3-2 triumph thanks to Dominic Calvert-85th-minute Lewin’s winner.
No top-flight club has scored fewer goals on home soil than the Toffees, with only three in their first five league matches. Lampard will be looking for indications of progress in the final third after Everton’s solitary chance against Newcastle.
Crystal Palace overcame Wolves 2-1 at home a week after beating Leeds United 2-1 at home. Adama Traore’s 31st-minute header gave the visitors the lead, but Eberechi Eze equalized two minutes later.
Wilfried Zaha’s 70th-minute goal capped Palace’s comeback. Patrick Vieira’s side is now three points above Everton and six points behind the top five.
Closer to Europe before the World Cup cannot be ruled out for the Eagles, who face Everton, Southampton, West Ham United, and Nottingham Forest.
Three of these games, including this weekend’s trip to Goodison Park, are away from home, and they have yet to win on the road this season, drawing three times, including two goalless draws.
Only Fulham in December 2008 has ever played three consecutive 0-0 matches in the Premier League. Crystal Palace has only won one of their past 15 top-flight encounters with Everton, 3-1 at Selhurst Park last season, so they’ll need to be on top of their game on Saturday.
Our Team News: Everton vs Crystal Palace
The four Everton players who have been injured so far—Yerry Mina (calf), Andros Townsend (ACL), Ben Godfrey (fractured fibula), and Nathan Patterson (ankle)—are still out for the time being.
But Patterson is aiming to return next month. Calvert-Lewin played 73 minutes in his first start of the season against Newcastle and may continue to start in front of Neal Maupay.
Due to Idrissa Gueye’s recent slump, either James Garner or Tom Davies might start in the middle of the field with Amadou Onana and Alex Iwobi (who scored in Everton’s most recent home game against Manchester United).
Will Hughes is questionable due to sickness and will be evaluated before kickoff, while Crystal Palace is still missing Nathaniel Clyne (ankle), Nathan Ferguson (ankle), James McArthur (groin), Chris Richards (thigh), and Jack Butland (wrist).
Vieira may be tempted to go with the same starting lineup that defeated Wolves midweek, with Michael Olise starting in place of Jordan Ayew in the front three with Wilfried Zaha and Odsonne Edouard.
The back four of Joel Ward, Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen, and Tyrick Mitchell will once again shield goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, who has maintained two clean sheets and made 11 saves in his past two away games.
- Everton Possible Starting Lineup: Pickford, Coleman, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Iwobi, Garner, Onana; Gray, Calvert-Lewin, Gordon.
- Crystal Palace Possible Starting Lineup: Guaita, Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Eze, Doucoure, Schlupp, Olise, Edouard, Zaha.
Our Prediction: Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace will be seeking to build on their midweek triumph and keep their playoff hopes alive when they travel to face Southampton on Saturday.
Against a motivated Everton team, who we predict will snap their losing skid and steal a point in front of the home crowd at Goodison Park, it will be difficult for the Eagles to add another three points to their tally.