Crystal Palace will be looking to bounce back from three consecutive defeats when they host a rejuvenated Everton side this weekend.
Crystal Palace did seem like the real deal for most parts this season. The arrival of Patrick Vieira brought in a new style of football at Selhurst Park, and soon results started going their way. However, in the last month or so, the London club have endured a torrid time getting positive outcomes from games.
The Eagles are winless in their last four Premier League games, losing the previous three by a margin of a single goal. Last time around, they were undone by a late strike from Manchester United’s Fred, as Vieira’s men looked destined to get a positive result from Old Trafford.
Those results have hit their ambitions to finish in the top half of the Premier League table. Palace will have a chance to make amends when they take on Everton, who are somewhat rejuvenated after their win over Arsenal, although their problems are still there to be exposed.
Everton visit Selhurst Park, hoping to show their fans the win over Arsenal wasn’t a one-off. Rafael Benitez was able to shrug off some pressure with that win, although he must now address consistency problems with yet another positive result. For the Toffees, nothing short of a victory will do to bring back the optimism lost so far this season.
The win over the Gunners ended Everton’s eight-game winless run and offered a new lease of life for Benitez to continue his work. Richarlison and Demarai Gray were terrific in the match, and the manager will be relying on them once more to get through more games without some of his key stars. Either way, a win over Palace is important for the manager and fans.
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Patrick Vieira will have to take positives out of their loss at Old Trafford to make slight changes to his Lineup. Jordan Ayew, who was the brightest Eagles’ attacker, might be kept in the side, despite Michael Olise pushing for a start in his place.
Luka Milivojevic is hoping for a starting in the middle of the park, but Jeffrey Schlupp’s positive display at Old Trafford might force Vieira to retain him. Joel Ward should return after serving a one-match suspension and slot in at right-back.
James McArthur has returned to training this week, although he might not be able to start games yet. Similarly, Joachim Andersen is also fighting to be fit, and while he would be a valuable addition, there might still be some time before he is drafted back into the starting lineup.
With Vieira likely to keep Schlupp in the side, the midfield selection could be complete with Cheikhou Kouyate holding the base position and Conor Gallagher taking his place on the right side.
The front three could be the same that started at Old Trafford. Wilfried Zaha should be comfortable on his preferred left-hand side of the attack, with Ayew holding the fort from the right side. Christian Benteke will lead the line in the central striker role.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Ward, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell; Gallagher, Kouyate, Schlupp; Ayew, Benteke, Zaha
Everton are still missing key personnel in the squad and have further problems to deal with after the Arsenal clash. Yerry Mina had a setback during the match, which will keep him out of contention. Meanwhile, Lucas Digne remains out with a suspension, letting Ben Godfrey continue to deputise at left-back.
Salomon Rondon and Dominic Calvert-Lewin continue to spend time on the sidelines, forcing Benitez to start with Richarlison in the central role in attack once more. Mason Holgate should fill in for the injured Mina at centre-back alongside Michael Keane.
Tom Davies is also missing with injury, which leaves Benitez to continue with the central midfield partnership of Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan. Andre Gomes made a telling return against Arsenal on Monday, and the Portugal international will be an option off the bench again.
With Richarlison set to start in the central striker role, Andros Townsend will provide support playing off the Brazilian international. Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon should keep their spots in the wide areas.
Probable Lineup (4-4-1-1): Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey; Gordon, Doucoure, Allan, Gray; Townsend; Richarlison
- Crystal Palace have lost their last three Premier League games with a single goal margin.
- Crystal Palace have collected just two wins from their last eleven Premier League games.
- Crystal Palace haven’t won against Everton in their last 13 games in all competitions.
- Everton have just one win in their last nine Premier League games.
- Everton have lost their last three away Premier League games.
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He has not had the best of times in the last three or four games. After a scintillating draw with Brentford, Palace have lost their following three games, which undone their earlier good form this term. Zaha, specifically, has been somewhat out of shape, leaving them bare in the attacking third.
The Ivorian needs to bring his best play into the equation again and inspire Palace, who desperately need results and turn things around. The ex-Manchester United forward needs to step up big time and rally those around him to get the club’s season back on track.
Crystal Palace 2-1 Everton
Everton’s win over Arsenal may have lifted their spirits momentarily, although they are far from the team that started the season so well. They might still face those issues that plagued them as they went eight games without a win. They will face an organised Palace side that has been unfortunate with their recent defeats.
The Eagles have the opportunity to inflict more misery on Everton. Despite their results of late, Vieira’s men have the quality to dispatch off Everton at Selhurst Park, with the likes of Zaha and Gallagher likely to make an impact.