Everton travel to London to face a spirited Crystal Palace who are riding on a new manager bounce. Since the appointment of Roy Hodgson, Palace have won all three of their Premier League games and will be hoping to make it four out of four when they face the Toffees at Selhurst Park.
Everton are on the back foot courtesy of two back to back defeats at the hands of Manchester United and Fulham. Sean Dyche’s side sit 17th in the table and need results to go in their favour if they are to survive the relegation battle. Selhurst Park has not been a happy hunting ground for Everton, winning just once in their last five games at the venue.
What will please the Everton fans is that Dominic Calvert-Lewin is very much in contention to play against the Eagles. He has been out with a hamstring problem since the start of February and his return at this crucial juncture of the season is a massive boost to the club’s hopes of keeping their Premier League status intact. Amadou Onana missed the Fulham game but has trained well. Unfortunately, Seamus Coleman will miss the trip to London as he continues to remain sidelined after picking up an injury against United.
Everton predicted lineup vs Crystal Palace
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford has been Everton’s first choice all season and Dyche will continue to trust the England No.1. The Englishman conceded three goals against Fulham and he will be hopeful of keeping a clean sheet.
Right back: Nathan Patterson
Dyche will be expected to ring his first change in the lineup at right back position. Ben Godfrey started last weekend as a makeshift right back and was not up to the mark. With Coleman out, now is the time to give Nathan Patterson a shot in the team.
Centre back: Michael Keane
Dyche has preferred Michael Keane over Conor Coady and Yerry Mina in the centre back role. The Englishman has not always been excellent but has done the required job on most of the occasions. Keane could have a challenging afternoon as his task will be to neutralize the threat of Odsonne Edouard.
Centre back: James Tarkowski
James Tarkowski has played every single minute of the Premier League season for Everton. The 30 year old has been the bed rock in the rearguard and Dyche’s trust remains firm in the centre back pairing of Tarkowski and Keane.
Left back: Vitaliy Mykolenko
Godfrey can also operate at left back but he is not going through a rough patch of form. Vitaliy Mykolenko doesn’t offer much going forward which has definitely affected Everton’s output through the flanks but with Patterson coming on the opposite side, the Toffees will have a full back marauding forward.
Central midfield: Idrissa Gueye
Idrissa Gueye has started every Premier League game under Dyche and he will continue his streak against Palace. The midfield battle could decide the outcome of the game and Gueye will have an important role to play in it.
Central midfield: Amadou Onana
Amadou Onana missed the last game but has returned to training. Although, Dyche said that he is yet to make a decision over Onana’s involvement, the Belgian training regularly is a sign that his recovery is nearly complete.
Central midfield: Alex Iwobi
With Abdoulaye Doucoure still serving his three game suspension, Alex Iwobi could partner Onana and Gueye in the midfield. When the opportunity arises, the Nigerian could join the attack and occupy spaces behind the striker but when Everton are on the back foot, his presence will add an extra body in the middle of the park.
Right wing: Demarai Gray
Demarai Gray has frequently occupied the striker’s position in absence of Calvert-Lewin. Although he has been effective, his best performances have come when occupying the flank. Gray’s battle with Tyrick Mitchell will be the one to watch.
Left wing: Dwight McNeil
Dwight McNeil has been very consistent and impressive under Dyche. The 23 year old scored a superb goal against Fulham and is Everton’s top scorer in the Premier League. With Mykolenko not providing much attacking support, McNeil will have to shoulder the responsibility of whipping crosses from the left wing.
Striker: Ellis Simms
Calvert-Lewin will not be thrown directly into the mix. He is likely to come on as a second half substitute and build from there. The Englishman will lack match sharpness but the idea will be to get some minutes so that he can build some confidence. Neal Maupay was selected over Ellis Simms in the last game but the Frenchman did not impress at all. Dyche could revert to Simms and then bringing on Calvert-Lewin at some point in the game.
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