With the exception of the upcoming FA Cup semi-final, I believe most people just want this season to end. Well, this game puts us one step closer to the end of the season.
Everton seem unable and often unwilling to play to their full potential and defeat teams that are not their equal. Whether it's a lack of chemistry, the team tuning the manager out or a combination of the two, something needs to change with this club.
This week's match at Crystal Palace has left Everton short on rest and they will again face a short week before playing Southampton this weekend.
For the second consecutive week Everton will face a team they could see in the FA Cup Final. Crystal Palace take on Watford for a place at Wembley, just under two weeks from now.
Crystal Palace have found it difficult to match last season's 10th place finish and currently sit precariously close to the relegation zone. However, a win against Everton will see them reach the "magical" 40-point mark to stay in the Premier League.
Despite their disappointing campaign, Palace have a number of very talented players that could give a struggling Everton team a run for their money. Yohan Cabaye, having returned to the Premier League from PSG, has been fantastic for Palace all year and is the key to their central midfield. And we must not forget the trio of Yannick Bolasie, Wilfried Zaha and Jason Puncheon. These three players have the ability to pick apart a struggling Everton defense, and may do just that on Wednesday.
However, Palace have won just one match in their last ten, so it would stand to reason that a more talented Everton team should be able to come out of this match with three points. But with this Everton team, nothing is ever that easy.
Phil Jagielka and Ross Barkley are considered doubtful for this week's match. With so many games this month, plus the semi-final, Roberto Martinez would do well to have two of his best players get healthy for the latter part of the month. Expect Ramiro Funes Mori and possibly Tom Cleverley to fill in for Jagielka and Barkley respectively.
Palace will likely be without defender Brede Hangeland and midfielder James McArthur who are both sidelined with knocks. Manager Alan Pardew believes that Yohan Cabaye and Connor Wickham will be available for selection. In addition, Emmanuel Adebayor and Marouane Chamakh will not play this week.
The Final Word
Another game that Everton should win awaits this week. However, if the last few weeks are an indication, the Toffees will be lucky to leave with a draw. The entire squad seems to have tuned out Roberto Martinez and because of this the players seem disjointed and out of step with one another.
A win is not out of the realm of possibility, but I'm not feeling optimistic.
Predicted Starting XI: Robles, Baines, Stones, Funes Mori, Coleman, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas, Cleverley, Lennon, Lukaku