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Everton vs Crystal Palace: Match Preview

The Palace come to Goodison for the first post European game of the season.

Shaun Botterill

Well that was good wasn’t it? After a successful return to European football on Thursday it’s back to domestic issues against Crystal Palace. Can Everton avoid the hangover that affects so many other teams? We’re about the find out.

Team News

No additional injuries mean that Roberto Martinez could name the same team again. Chances are that there will be slight rotation though. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Samuel Eto’o start after his cameo on Thursday, nor would it be a huge shock to see Christian Atsu or Leon Osman come in for Aiden McGeady.

Crystal Palace can welcome back Joe Ledley, whilst a host of new signings are pushing for their debut, included Everton old boy Andrew Johnson. Marouane Chamakh is the biggest concern for the Londoners, and will have a test on a hamstring before the game.

What to watch for

The most obvious is how Everton start and finish the game, any signs of fatigue at the start will give Palace encouragement for the rest of the game, and Everton’s notoriously tired looking final ten minutes have already cost the team four points this season. Players like James McCarthy, Steven Naismith, Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas all worked their socks off against Wolfsburg, keeping that momentum going will be the biggest challenge.

Talking of McCarthy, his matchup against James McArthur in the centre of the park will be intriguing, the pair were teammates in the Wigan Athletic team that won the FA Cup / got relegated. Two talented but hard working midfielders up against each other, interesting stuff.

If Eto’o does play it the reaction of Romelu Lukaku could be interesting to watch. The Belgian left Chelsea when Eto’o signed and then he followed him to Goodison Park. Lukaku has just started to show signs of getting back into some form after a poor World Cup, but the former Cameroon international has shown his world class skills in his two cameos so far, and you’d think this would be a perfect game to give Lukaku a breather.

Match facts

  • Everton have won their last four Sunday games.
  • Crystal Palace took only two points from their six Sunday games on 2013-14.
  • Everton have sent over the least crosses in the Premier league this season, just 47.
  • Crystal Palace are winning 3-2 in games at Goodison Park, including the 3-2 last season.
  • Palace are the third London team Everton have played in their three homes games this season.