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Everton at Crystal Palace - FA Cup Match Preview | Place at Wembley the prize for the winners

Toffees face tough test in south London

Crystal Palace v Everton - Premier League

Recovered yet? I know I haven’t.

We witnessed one of THE great Goodison nights on Thursday.

Whenever you were I’m sure you were celebrating Alex Iwobi’s winner just as wildly those inside the Grand Old Lady, and Frank Lampard’s hand is unlikely to be the only injury to stem from those celebrations.

Those are the moments you support this godforsaken team for.

It has been such an awfully grim and tortuous season but that was a goal to saviour so I don’t blame anyone for losing it momentarily.

We’ve earned it.

Everton v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

The key, of course, is to harness that passion of that victory into some genuine momentum going into the final weeks of the season. Everton have been a team desperately lacking in confidence over recent weeks so that jolt of positively can only help.

However, it was only three points at the end of the day, so there is plenty of work ahead if they are to avoid relegation.

For now though they have to park their Premier League concerns and switch attention to the FA Cup.

With all the worry about relegation it has been easy to forget the Toffees are only one game from Wembley. They face a tough, tough, assignment down in south London, but if they can make it through then a day out at the national stadium would be a reward for the fans who have endured so much frustration and disappointment over the last few months.

The opposition

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Everton will be taking on a Crystal Palace side bang in-form and buoyed by a hard-earned draw against Manchester City on Monday.

The Eagles have lost just three times in 13 matches in all competitions since the turn of the year, with two of those against Liverpool and Chelsea.

Manager Patrick Vieira has done a wonderful job rebuilding a team that lost more than a dozen senior players last summer, moulding a youthful, energetic side that looks to have a bright future.

Everton’s woeful away record, which includes a 3-1 league defeat at Selhurst Park in December, will also give Vieira’s side confidence.

They will understandably go into the game as favourites.

Previous meeting

Crystal Palace 3-1 Everton, December 12 2021

Crystal Palace v Everton - Premier League Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

As mentioned, Everton were truly dreadful at Selhurst Park in December, with two goals from Conor Gallagher and a James Tomkins strike condemning them to a deserved defeat.

Team news

Everton v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Everton will be without Allan as the midfielder begins a three-match ban for his controversial red card against Newcastle, which was the subject of an unsuccessful Toffees appeal, while Jordan Pickford again misses out through illness.

Jonjoe Kenny is available after a one-game ban, but Dele Alli, Donny van de Beek and Anwar El Ghazi are cup-tied.

With Fabian Delph and Tom Davies also still sidelined, Frank Lampard has added 18-year-old Isaac Price to his travelling squad to boost his dwindling midfield numbers.

What they said

Everton v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Everton manager Frank Lampard: “It’s a real big challenge for us. I’ve watched Palace a lot. They’re a hugely talented squad and I thought they recruited brilliantly in the summer.

“They’re well coached and have a lot of threats in their team

“We’re aware of the task ahead of us, but it’s an opportunity for us to get to Wembley.

“I’m a believer in momentum. This club has a really rich history in this competition, and I know that means a lot to the fans. It’s very important and we must approach the game in that way.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira: “There is no time to relax. This is a huge game for us and we want to do well, to go as far as we can. We are really close to the semi-final, with a home tie to give ourselves the best chance to go to the next round.

“It’s a really exciting game and it’s going to be exciting for Everton as well. They’re one game from Wembley and we know how difficult it’ll be, especially after the win they had yesterday [1-0 v Newcastle United]. We know how they are as a team and it will be difficult, but we’re ready for it.

“There’s a long way to go so for us the conversation is about how well we need to perform to give ourselves the best chance to get through… We’re going to play a strong team and want to go to the semi-final.”

Final word

I have been so preoccupied with the relegation battle I have not really considered this game. It will be a tough test and Palace will rightly be favourites, but Thursday’s result must have had a galvanising affect on the squad. If they can pick up where they left off, they have a chance.