Everton in desperate need of three points as Palace visit Goodison again

The Blues haven't won a Premier League match in 2024 and after a succession of draws and then defeat to Manchester City need to win on Monday night

Everton v Crystal Palace - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay
Everton v Crystal Palace - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

After that two nil loss to City last weekend, Everton aren't due to play again until Monday night when they take on Crystal Palace, who they've already played twice this season.

Toffees manager Sean Dyche has to find a way to turn around the team's recent form which has seen his side collect only three points since the 16th December last year when the Blues beat Burnley.

Since then Everton have played Palace twice in the FA Cup and after a goalless draw at Selhurst Park - notable chiefly for Dominic Cavert-Lewin's controversial sending off - they then beat the Eagles in the replay.

Premier League form has though been the difficulty and although the Toffees have created chances and played resonably well at times, results have not been forthcoming.

That is largely due to the lack of goalscoring from a side that has only managed more than a single goal in a game once since that Burnley win.

Included in this period have been several blanks as well with the Blues having failed to find the net on three occasions.

Neither Calvert-Lewin or Portuguese striker Beto have scored since December when Beto managed what is still his only Premier League strike against Nwecastle United.

Hopefully, on Monday evening Dyche will be able to welcome back into his team several recently absent stars, especailly his midfield dynamo and still Everton's leading scorer; Abdoulaye Doucoure.

The Mali international has been a massive miss and the Toffees have not won a single league match since he suffered his first hamstring injury, again, in that Burnley game.

But even with Doucoure returning (assuming he is fit enough) I still think Dyche has to start being a bit more creative tactically to try and generate more attacking threat.

Previously, I have suggested the manager should maybe consider shifting to a new formation such as a 4-3-3 if Doucoure isn't fit, with Dwight McNeil and Jack Harrison playing alongide whoever is to start at centre-forward.

McNeil was top scorer last season with seven. However, in this campaign he has only managed two so far. As for Harrison, the on-loan forward has scored three and he too could probably produce more.

Perhaps, if both players were pushed forward into a more directly attacking role they might well be able to better support the main striker and chip in with more goals themselves.

As for opponents Palace, the Eagles have seen their form decline recently having won only won two of their last fifteen games in league and cup. In addition, they have been letting in a lot of goals too.

As well as this Palace are currently experiencing an injury crisis with a number of key players out of action. Dyche knows all about this having had to cope without a number of players not just Doucoure.

Manager Roy Hodgson is also seriously ill and so almost certainly won't be on the touchline on Monday. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he will soon be back in charge of his team.

Monday's match has become simply the latest in a long run of 'must-win' games over the last few seasons that have come along.

Everton really do need the points with other results today again going against them as Nottingham Forest won pulling away from the relegation mix.