Everton have the chance to secure safety if they manage to secure a win over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.
Everton had the form on their side and momentum before taking on Brentford at Goodison Park. A win would have secured their safety in the Premier League as Leeds United and Burnley dropped points in the relegation battle, but the Toffees lost against the Bees in a match in which they had two players sent off.
Jarrad Branthwaite and substitute Salomon Rondon saw red cards, as Everton succumbed to a 2-3 defeat to keep the relegation race alive. The Toffees have two games remaining, both against London sides as they host Crystal Palace and then face Arsenal at the Emirates.
Burnley and Leeds United sit on 34 and 35 points respectively, with the Clarets to play two more games. Meanwhile, Everton have 36 points, and if they win against Crystal Palace, they will open up a four-point gap over Leeds, which will ensure their safety in the Premier League.
However, Patrick Vieira’s men are no pushovers. The Frenchman got nominated for the Premier League’s Manager of the Season gong, which will have boosted his confidence to finish the season strongly. Crystal Palace have nothing left to play for this season, although they will be aiming to finish in the top half of the Premier League.
With two games left, Crystal Palace have the chance to catch Leicester City and Brighton, who sit level on 48 points in the ninth and tenth spots. The Eagles come into this clash looking to extend their unbeaten run to four matches. If they do, Everton will have to fight it out against Arsenal on the last day of the season. Such a finale will be entertaining for the neutrals but nerve-wracking for the Toffees fans.
Team News & Tactics
Frank Lampard will be happy with the news on Donny van de Beek and Michael Keane’s availability. The manager is also confident about Ben Godfrey being involved in some capacity, although he suggested the defender may only be a squad option and not start against Palace.
💬 | The boss has given a squad fitness update, with up to three Blues set to return for #EVECRY…
— Everton (@Everton) May 18, 2022
Jarrad Branthwaite is suspended along with Rondon after both received red cards against Brentford. Fabian Delph and Yerry Mina are also out due to injury issues, as Lampard ponders over his options for the clash against Crystal Palace.
The Everton manager could revert to a back three with Seamus Coleman, Keane and Mason Holgate forming the backline. Andre Gomes could be the central midfield choice alongside Abdoulaye Doucoure, with Alex Iwobi and Vitalii Mykolenko playing as the wing-backs.
Anthony Gordon ought to start on the right side of the attack, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin assuming the central striker role. Richarlison will keep his place on the left, while Demarai Gray could be a high-quality option off the bench.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Holgate; Iwobi, Doucoure, Gomes, Mykolenko; Gordon, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison
Michael Olise could be potentially out for the season after sustaining a knock recently, while James McArthur may also sit out the remaining two games. The midfielder may be available for the final game, but Patrick Vieira is unlikely to take any unwanted risk with the player.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) May 18, 2022
Cheikhou Kouyate may get dropped after the midfielder supported Idrissa Gueye following the PSG star’s refusal to play for the club wearing LGBTQ+ colours. The club will take the matter seriously, as they may look to speak with him and subsequently drop him temporarily.
Palace will keep the 4-3-3 shape, with Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen likely to play central defence till the last day. Nathaniel Clyne and Tyrick Mitchell are clear choices for full-backs. Conor Gallagher, Luka Milivojevic and Jeffrey Schlupp will see their names in central midfield.
Vieira may look to shift Wilfried Zaha onto the right side of the attack, while Jean-Philippe Mateta could be the preferred choice to lead the line. Eberechi Eze could come on the left side as Palace look to secure three points.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Butland; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Gallagher, Milivojevic, Schlupp; Zaha, Mateta, Eze
- Everton need three points heading into the last game of the season to secure their safety in the Premier League.
- Everton are unbeaten in their last six matches at home against Crystal Palace.
- Everton have not lost a league game scheduled on a Thursday since January 2015.
- Crystal Palace have lost only two of their last nine away matches in the Premier League.
- Crystal Palace are looking to complete their first-ever league double over Everton.
Player to Watch
Everton have reached this stage in their season where they can hope for survival due to one man, Richarlison. The Brazilian has stepped up in a big way and acted like the talismanic player the Toffees needed to see off an improbable relegation dogfight, as the forward continues to deliver when it matters.
Despite all the good things done by Richarlison, there is still another line to get over before everyone can relax. Whether the Brazilian remains at Goodison Park next season or not is a matter for another time. But for now, he will have to help Everton secure a positive result against Palace.
Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace
This is a tough game to call considering the pressure or lack of it on the two teams. Everton have a clear goal, which is to win this game and get to safety. Meanwhile, Palace have a simple aim of finishing in the top half of the table.
Palace will be more relaxed about the outcome of the game but are likely to give their all to finish the season strongly. With the pressure firmly on Everton to get a result, there is a feeling that the game might end in a draw, with the Toffees set to drag their relegation battle until the final day of the season with a tricky visit to Arsenal.