Match Preview: Everton vs Crystal Palace


By - Wednesday 12th February, 2014

Palace travel to Merseyside looking to avoid defeat


Image by Fabio Paoleri, used under Creative Commons (http://goo.gl/OeOMKn)

Crystal Palace will be hoping for more magic from their Premier League new boys when they travel to Goodison Park this evening. Goals from January signings Tom Ince and Joe Ledley, along with a Marouane Chamakh penalty, saw the Eagles cruise past West Brom at the weekend. Former Blackburn defender Scott Dann also received high praise for his debut.

Tony Pulis’ men now sit a surprise 15th in the league table and rank among the most in-form teams in 2014, but Everton will surely provide more of a challenge, having won five of their last six at their home ground. The Toffees have lost just four games all season, one less than free-scoring title challengers Manchester City.

Expectations are rarely conformed to by Pulis sides however; his revival of once-relegation certainties Palace has seen them take 10 points from their last 18 available. The turnaround has given the Selhurst Park faithful renewed belief they can avoid Premier League relegation for the first time in five attempts. It could prove to be the wrong moment to visit Merseyside with Roberto Martinez seeking a reaction from his players following the frustrating loss at top-4 rivals Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.

Glenn Murray may be in line for another substitute appearance

Palace have no major injury concerns ahead of the fixture and are likely to name the same starting XI from the West Brom game. Star of last season’s promotion campaign Glenn Murray may be in line for another substitute appearance after making his Premier League bow against the Baggies. Jerome Thomas returned from a calf injury in the same match and should also take a place on the bench.

Roberto Martinez has confirmed 6ft 8in on-loan striker Lacina Traoré is set to make his debut for the home side after overcoming hamstring problems. Ivorian Traoré, nicknamed the ‘gentle giant’, impressed in previous spells with Russian clubs Kuban and Anzhi, earning himself a move to cash-rich French outfit AS Monaco last month.Martinez hinted he will likely be utilised from the bench, which would see him match Manchester City keeper Costel Pantilimon as the tallest footballer to have played in the Premier League.

Fellow on-loan forward Romelu Lukaku is still a week away from returning to action, while centre-back Antolin Alcaraz has returned to training but is not expected to be risked by his manager. Martinez has made good use of the loan system and after featuring as a substitute against Spurs, FC Barcelona starlet Gerard Deulofeu will be looking to play a part. Everton will also be without Bryan Oviedo, Arouna Kone and Darron Gibson.

Goodison Park is not an unsuccessful hunting ground for past Eagles sides, having won there twice from four previous Premier League visits.

Lewis Brown

Lewis Brown

Lewis Brown is Digital Communications Manager at a leading UK think tank and a Trainee Journalist with News Associates in Wimbledon. His interests include politics, science, and sport of all varieties.

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