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Everton vs Crystal Palace FA Cup preview | Toffees and Eagles meet again in third round replay

A home tie awaits the winners at Goodison Park

Crystal Palace v Everton - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Selhurst Park Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

Everton welcome Crystal Palace to Goodison Park with a place in the FA Cup fourth round at stake, though once again all the talk before the game is about matters off the pitch.

On Monday, the Toffees were referred to a second independent commission by the Premier League for an alleged breach of their PSR rules, despite the appeal against the first charge yet to take place.

It is yet another blow to the club after two seasons of relegation battles combined with urgent belt-tightening in a desperate attempt to improve the club’s finances, all while trying to build a new stadium.

The fans are weary of it all but have little choice but to back the team even more. The performances on the pitch have been the one positive this season and the best way of at least starting to dig Everton out of the hole they find themselves in.

Though Premier League survival is critical the FA Cup is a great opportunity to give everyone a bit of hope and enjoyment. There’s no points that can be taken away for starters.

The Carabao Cup run gave the Toffees a bit of momentum that carried over into the league so there is no reason why the FA Cup cannot do the same.

A home tie with Luton or Bolton awaits, meaning this is a brilliant chance for Everton to go on a bit of a cup run and give the fans reason to dream.

The opposition

Crystal Palace have not played since the goalless draw at Selhurst Park on 4 January because of the staggered winter break, meaning they have had 13 days rest to Everton’s three.

Go figure?

Previous meeting

Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton, 4 January 2024

Crystal Palace v Everton - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images

A fairly drab game between two tired teams, though Everton probably had the better of the chances. The big talking point was Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s dismissal, which has subsequently proven to have been wrong.

Team news

Everton FC v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Sean Dyche says Abdoulaye Doucoure and Seamus Coleman are doubts for Wednesday. Doucoure is suffering from a bit of fatigue after making his first appearance in more than a month against Aston Villa because of a hamstring injury, while Coleman was complaining of a tight hamstring himself.

Ashley Young is back in training but it not yet ready for a return.

What they said

Everton FC v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Everton manager Sean Dyche: “We have made it clear that every game is important, this game is no different. I think we went down with the right mentality at Palace, we didn’t get the win but we have brought it back here. Whatever team goes out there is 100% clear minded we want to win.

“I don’t think we are far off. Tottenham was a good performance, I thought we played well to get something from that game, against Man City a few mistakes cost us, a decent performance without a doubt against Palace.

“We have got to do better on the ball at times, we know that.”

Crystal Palace v Everton - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: “I don’t think we need that incentive [of a home tie in the next round] – the incentive is we’re playing a top team Everton, in good form I think. They’ve done extremely well recently. I think they’re a very difficult team to play against and beat.

“We’re in the same league and we want to show that we’re capable of not only containing them or matching them, we want to beat them, and really and truly that’s our only focus at the moment.

“Let’s get that game played and let’s get the performance from the team that we hope we’ll get, and then we’ll have two or three days before we play the next one.”

Final word

Everton had the better of the first game and a similar level of performance would give them a great chance of progressing.

Given the off field drama, something to savour on it would be most welcome.