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Everton vs Crystal Palace

by | 21/09/2014  Comments (53)  jump
Everton hope to make it three wins on the bounce as Crystal Palace come to Goodison Park.

Having named an unchanged line-up for the excellent win over Wolfsburg on Thursday, Roberto Martinez could start to rotate in some of his players champing at the bit for their first starts.

Samuel Eto'o, Christian Atsu and Muhamed Besic have yet to make their full debuts after arriving in the summer and, along with Darron Gibson, all three are potential candidates if the manager decides to rest some players ahead of the trip to Swansea on Tuesday.

Ross Barkley expects to resume training in a week or so but Seamus Coleman is expected to be fit for this one despite suffering a blow to the head at the end of Thursday's game and Steven Pienaar is apparently available again after a groin injury.

Kick Off: 4pm.
Referee: Michael Oliver  

Reader Comments (53)

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Sam Hoare
1 Posted 21/09/2014 at 00:11:57
I suspect he will go strong again with rotation more likely in the Swansea game.

Same team that started Wolfsburg for me unless perhaps you rest Barry for Gibson or Besic or maybe bring in Distin ideally for Jags but more likely for Stones.

If theyÂ’re up for it IÂ’d start the same XI who have back to back wins to keep it going.

Nicky Styles
2 Posted 21/09/2014 at 00:18:37
Why is ToffeeWeb using the old crest again? Very strange to see it again 2 years after itÂ’s been consigned to the historical dustbin.
Darryl Ritchie
3 Posted 21/09/2014 at 00:29:45
After the 3-2 loss last season, I donÂ’t think anyone will be taking them lightly.

Toffees 2-0; Mirallas and Baines (penalty) to score for us.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
4 Posted 21/09/2014 at 00:35:55
IÂ’m guessing itÂ’s Lyndon just re-using an available EFC v CP graphic from last season, Nicky, when we resisted using the new Fisher-Price logo. Since youÂ’ve pointed it out, he may take the time to update it... or he may not!
Geof Thompson
5 Posted 21/09/2014 at 00:44:58
I have been an Evertonian for 40 years and I can say that (even including the famous eighties side) this is the best squad we have had.

We could easily swap out four or five players and still be a quality side. Besic or Gibson in midfield. Atsu, EtoÂ’o or Kone up front. Oviedo or Distin in defence. Seriously I would not be unhappy with any of them.

Now IÂ’m not saying that weÂ’re quite at the squad depth of say Man City or Chelsea but wow it is really starting to feel like weÂ’ve got some momentum. And if... no, when we beat Palace tomorrow, weÂ’ll be 2 points off top four. And above the scum (Ha, ha, ha... West Ham 3-1 Liverpool) going into the Derby next week.

And what a week. Three away games in a week with so much on the line. But, if we can come through them unscathed, well the skyÂ’s the limit.

Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts.

Jim Knightley
6 Posted 21/09/2014 at 01:22:44
I doubt there will be much in the way of changes - I fear that Mirallas will be rested, but I doubt it. I think McGeady is the most likely to make way, or Stones, or perhaps even Lukaku for EtoÂ’o.

I donÂ’t understand this constant hankering for Besic across these forums. (This is not a dig at anyone in particular, rather just an observation on a general trait.) IÂ’d like to see him in less important games, but I think ToffeeWebers are hankering for the idea of Besic, rather than the reality. He is not better than McCarthy or Barry, and putting him in place of either will only weaken our defensive game which is weak enough at the moment already.

Besic should not play wide, as he is not a wide player, and Naismith has the other position nailed at the moment. Give him a start in the Carling Cup, and in the less important Europa League games, but letÂ’s keep the best for the Premier League.

Peter Barry
7 Posted 21/09/2014 at 01:57:39
LetÂ’s hope today is a day we can be Â’SinginÂ’ the BluesÂ’ for the second week in a row.
Harold Matthews
8 Posted 21/09/2014 at 01:09:21
Hope we remain unchanged. The way Barry plays a combination of DM and CB makes him difficult to replace though I guess it depends on how we set up. Of course EtoÂ’o and others may be better than our normal first team players but how and when do we risk them? ItÂ’s not easy. Maybe we will see earlier subs.

Of all the lads on the bench, Gibbo is my main worry. Obviously off the pace and ring rusty right now, his natural attacking game doesnÂ’t fit him into our present set-up. It will be interesting to see how Martinez uses him. He does like people who can open up a defence.

Aman Kanji
9 Posted 21/09/2014 at 02:17:05
Same team. Rom needs some goals to ease pressure on himself.

Swap Ossy for Kevin and Gibbo for Barry 68 mins. We should be 2-0 up by then...

Chris James
10 Posted 21/09/2014 at 02:32:35
Got to start with the same team for me - the best players with the most confidence.

I rarely understand the clamour for rotation, especially early on - these guys are super fit, mainly young professional athletes, they can play 3 x 90 minute games in 8 days without a problem.
Rotation for rotation’s sake and keeping players ’fresh’ generally doesn’t work well – look at our friends across the park – total disaster yesterday.

I donÂ’t buy the protection from injury argument either, most injuries tend to occur when players are coming back in after a spell on the sidelines or in training.

One of our strengths in recent years as a team and club was consistency of personnel. The time to rotate is when players are out of form/confidence or looking shattered. If we can have a team like this thatÂ’s winning games well...

Coleman - Jagielka - Stones - Baines
Mirallas - Gibson - McCarthy - McGeady
Naismith - Lukaku

And still have the likes of EtoÂ’o, Atsu and Besic plus Gibson and Distin as options to come from the bench (okay and Osman), then we should be happy to reflect on how well weÂ’ve come.

Plus we still have Barkley, Pienaar, Oviedo and Kone to come back into this reckoning. Actually our second 11 isn’t too shabby – not good enough for top 6 of course, but could stay up in the Premier League and have a run in the cups...

Hibbert - Distin - Alcaraz - Oviedo
Atsu - Gibson - Besic - Pienaar
EtoÂ’o - Kone

And thatÂ’s not to mention the youth options. IÂ’d love to see given a chance in the Carling Cup or Europa League and one or two of these will surely step up...

Stanek, Browning, Garbutt, Kennedy, Hope, Galloway, Lundstram, Long, McAleny, Henen, Grant and Junior.

What’s my point again? I think it’s that the future is genuinely bright (even if we’ve thrown away at least 4 points from the opening 3 games – again) and Martinez will have a lot of genuine options, but we still shouldn’t mess with the first team when they’re winning – let others earn their way in.

Ant Dwyer
11 Posted 21/09/2014 at 03:22:18
I wouldnÂ’t be too surprised to see a few of the regulars rested, between Ozzie, Gibbo an Besic, IÂ’m sure one of them can give Barry a break and maybe EtoÂ’o may come in too for one of the top few with Naisy having played a lot of minutes as well as Mirallas and Big Rom looking a little bit out of form.

I wouldnÂ’t be too surprised to see him put in somewhere .

How to second-guess a Premier Leaguie manager nowadays though is almost impossible, so who knows!

One thing I will say, though, is if Roberto doesnÂ’t trust his Â’squad playersÂ’ enough to give them a go at home to Palace, itÂ’s a wonder where and when he will give any of them a go unless forced through injury.

Anto Byrne
12 Posted 21/09/2014 at 03:48:22
Gibson, Atsu and EtoÂ’o should start this game and Garbutt should get a run late in the game with Besic. Lukaku can come off the bench should we need a battering ram to move the parked bus that will ultimately be Palace.

Oh IÂ’m forever blowing bubbles da da dee dum da.

Peter Z Jones
13 Posted 21/09/2014 at 04:24:25
Pretty sure Besic has to play for more than 5 minutes before anyone can make a judgment on whether our defensive game improves or not with him in. If he doesnÂ’t play, no one knows. Fans on ToffeeWeb want to see him play so we have more information on the squad. IÂ’d like to think that if he can do a solid job on Messi, he can handle James McArthur.
Rob Newling
14 Posted 21/09/2014 at 04:26:12
F-P logo - classic line Michael (4) ! :-)
Ajay Gopal
15 Posted 21/09/2014 at 04:40:50
I am with Anto (#12) on this one - Martinez needs to rotate players to keep them mentally and physically fresh. My team:

Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines
McGeady Gibson McCarthy Pienaar
Naismith EtoÂ’o

SUBS: Robles Alcaraz Oviedo Besic Atsu Lukaku Kone

This team should be enough to beat them 2-0

For the Carling Cup, I would go with:

Hibbert Stones Alcaraz Oviedo
Atsu Gibson Besic Pienaar

Steve Brown
17 Posted 21/09/2014 at 06:56:04
We do need to rotate. But letÂ’s do it in a balanced way rather than change the team wholesale against Swansea and wonder why we once again tumble out of the Capital One Cup in the early rounds. IÂ’d like a couple of players to come into the team today - EtoÂ’o and Gibson or Besic. Then play a reasonably strong side on Tuesday.
Anthony Burke
18 Posted 21/09/2014 at 07:06:44
Chris (#10) – no Barry? Not even a sub?? Not even in your second choice XI???
Peter Barry
19 Posted 21/09/2014 at 07:28:20
IsnÂ’t it a nice feeling to have such a strong bench for change.
Henrik Lyngsie
20 Posted 21/09/2014 at 07:11:11
I do not think or hope thar Martinez will rest anyone today. Everyone can play Sunday and be ready for next Saturday. Then I am sure he will field an alternative team against Swansea maybe including Besic, Gibson, Atsu and any of the ones coming back from injury who could be ready.

IÂ’m more curious to know who he will send to Russia three days before the Man Utd game. Will he rest 5 players here and hope for a draw?

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 21/09/2014 at 07:24:30
Whatever the team, isnÂ’t it such a good feeling going to the match these days.
Kunal Desai
22 Posted 21/09/2014 at 07:40:59
LetÂ’s not hope the lads are nursing a little Europa League hangover. I think Martinez may well change it a little with maybe Osman, Distin possibly even Besic starting.

We can’t under-estimate palace like the last time. We need to kick start our league campaign with 3 points – that means setting the tempo from the off instead of looking to rescue a point right at the death.

James Hill
24 Posted 21/09/2014 at 08:02:14
Momentum means not changing too much. However, I expect one change in in each department. Great to have strong options.
Brian Furey
25 Posted 21/09/2014 at 08:04:31
Interesting how many of ye would keep McGeady in the team instead of Atsu.
Adam Luszniak
27 Posted 21/09/2014 at 08:51:17
Not sure exactly how I feel about rotation, but a congested list of fixtures surely means something, somewhere has to give. Personally, I would rotate in order to put the strongest possible team out in the premier league.

This thinking is in no small part influenced by the RS recent form. I canÂ’t remember a better opportunity for us to go to Anfield and get a win. Having said that, they never play badly against us so we will need our best 11 to do it, and they will need to be at their peak. Surely our boys will be as keen as we are to avenge the disaster last season?

Anthony Burke
28 Posted 21/09/2014 at 09:15:36
There maybe a few tired legs today but I still wouldnÂ’t make to many changes... possibly Besic for Barry and Distin for Stones. Play the youngsters on Tuesday with some of the fringe/squad players. Two-nil today... COYB!!!!
Bill Griffiths
29 Posted 21/09/2014 at 09:25:57
I would start with the same team and put on Gibson for Barry, Ossie for Mirallas and EtoÂ’o for Lukaku after an hour.

We need to keep the momentum going after a couple of wins and can make more changes against the Swans.

Kevin Tully
30 Posted 21/09/2014 at 09:33:46
Really tough run of fixtures coming up after today - 6 of the next 7 away from home! As long as we can keep in touch after our opening run of fixtures, we should be happy. We have had a difficult start guys. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd in four of our opening seven games, probably the most difficult start of all the top teams.

Interesting to hear Van Gaal say he would rather be playing in Europe mid-week, and I agree. It can give you momentum, and your team can gel more quickly than just training for matches.

IsnÂ’t it great knowing we are highly unlikely to see a 0-0 while Bobby is in charge? Goals are the name of the game, and I think we will see plenty every time we play. Exciting times ahead.

Clive Rogers
31 Posted 21/09/2014 at 10:01:05
Got a feeling it could be two up front with EtoÂ’o coming in for McGeady and Naismith moving over.
Brian Hennessy
32 Posted 21/09/2014 at 09:39:55
In an ideal world any squad rotation should be done against the weaker teams.

As a result and based on current league form, I think next SaturdayÂ’s lunchtime game would be a perfect opportunity to give the fringe/younger players a start....

Nigel Gregson
33 Posted 21/09/2014 at 10:49:39
Nice on Brian #32. Should post it on koptalk haha.
Andy Osborne
34 Posted 21/09/2014 at 10:53:52
On the logo, nice touch to use the old one. There was nothing wrong with it, it is better than last yearÂ’s and better than this yearÂ’s. I wonder how much money we wasted...

On the squad, we should always play our strongest team. Now sometimes that will mean changing because a player is fatigued, but we should always put our strongest team on the pitch. I donÂ’t subscribe to resting players, they are professionals who earn a fortune. When they play two, three games a week, they do less training, so they should be able to cope.

Brian (#32) — Class.

Jamie Barlow
35 Posted 21/09/2014 at 11:12:14
Same team thatÂ’s started the last two for me. Rest most of the team midweek against Swansea. I canÂ’t wait to see what Besic, Atsu and the young uns can do.
Colin Malone
36 Posted 21/09/2014 at 11:47:14
Why a 4 oÂ’clock kickoff ??? Not a TV game, IÂ’d rather have a 3 oÂ’clock kickoff. Is this going to be the norm???

Anyone know the reason? If not, can you ToffeeWeb persons find out?

Tim Greeley
37 Posted 21/09/2014 at 11:43:24
Revenge Game!!!
Crystal Palace were two of the more frustrating games of last season. That said, without Pulis at the helm, I put Palace right in relegation land... so this needs to be a no-brainer emphatic win.

He cant mess with much, maybe EtoÂ’o and Atsu for Lukaku and McGeady. Gotta mark Bolassie and Gayle and stop free kicks; they donÂ’t have much more to offer at all.

David Hallwood
38 Posted 21/09/2014 at 12:04:22
Nice on Brian (#32); and wouldnÂ’t be great if Bobby did just that (noooo chance I know) and we beat them 4-0!!

BTW Colin #36 I think it’s because of the Sky that kicks off @ 4pm – sup with the devil and all that.

Eugene Ruane
39 Posted 21/09/2014 at 12:06:24
Colin - "Why a 4 oÂ’clock kickoff ??? Not a TV game, IÂ’d rather have a 3 oÂ’clock kickoff."

YouÂ’re telling me, it throws my whole supper bar curry and chips & my arse routine out.

If I start getting the turtleÂ’s head about 5:00pm, IÂ’ll put my foot through my season ticket and send Greg Dyke (or Kenwright or... someone) the bill!

Raymond Fox
40 Posted 21/09/2014 at 12:16:23
IÂ’m not fan of changing a winning team, but it depends how some of them feel after the Wolfsburg game, most of them expended a lot of energy in that match.

Plenty of teams have experienced a drop in form after Euro matches, so IÂ’m not expecting a stellar performance, I think we should win, but it might be a struggle!

Probably Roberto will want to go with the same team, but on the other hand as has already been mentioned we now have a extremely strong squad so if he wants/has to change it, it wont weaken the team much, if at all.

I see Warnock when asked of his opinion on Martinez, said that he thought RobertoÂ’s next job will be Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Goes to show what people within the game think of Martinez, and thereÂ’s still fans on here giving him grief !

Jay Harris
41 Posted 21/09/2014 at 12:49:06
RM will know who needs a rest and who doesnÂ’t so just because weÂ’d like to see Besic or Gibbo it doesnÂ’t mean we should rotate the midfield.

I wish people would recognize how much Gareth Barry brings to the team with his intelligent reading of the game.

Our defensive weakness starts with not holding the ball up top and I look at McGeady and Rom as our two biggest culprits.

Against Palace, we need to watch out for being hit on the break, so I would look for ball retention and patience up front.

I think EtoÂ’o deserves a starting role and would link well with Naismith.

Eric Holland
42 Posted 21/09/2014 at 12:49:55
Chris and Ajay,

No Barry?? is he injured or do you just not rate him?

Peter Cummings
43 Posted 21/09/2014 at 13:07:04
Although we ended up beating Wolfsburg handily, we must face the fact that Tim Howard was our MotM on the night while our passing and possession left a lot to be desired.

We have to address these facts before we can say we have the Â’completeÂ’ team and can compete with the best in the game. As for crowing about events across the park, I wouldnÂ’t start Â’singing the BluesÂ’ just yet, lads, thereÂ’s nothing like baiting a wounded lion in its den to get it to react. I think we will still get the points today though.

Anthony Lamb
44 Posted 21/09/2014 at 13:27:52
Are some of us getting a little "above" ourselves at the moment? We do apparently have a better squad range than in previous years but do we really think that we are so strong that we can underestimate any opponents to such an extent that we contemplate playing anything other than the very strongest XI?

In an often over-hyped Premier League, it is nevertheless true that any team on their day is capable of beating any other. I may be mistaken but was it not Crystal Palace who blew a very in-form LiverpoolÂ’s title chances apart not too long ago? Have we developed such a consistent "all conquering" level of performance that we can think of "rotating" on a whim?

In addition, I am still at a loss as to fathom out why Darren Gibson seems to arouse such confidence, at times bordering on accolades. I am just not sure how much one can actually trust him physically (as his career record shows). As such, I would much prefer to see him introduced quite late in games when a situation warranted it; in games such as the Swansea fixture, a competition where there may well be instances of a little less than 100% commitment by some players or clubs; or in Europa League games if and when the result may not be vital.

Palace will give Everton a very thorough examination in a number of areas – it should be the strongest possible XI that is examined,

Andy Meighan
45 Posted 21/09/2014 at 13:57:41
Brian (32) superb. Loved that.

On today’s game, I don’t think it’ll be pretty and I expect them to park the proverbial. That said, we should have enough about us to turn them over. I don’t think it’ll be anything like the last time we played them. An early goal and we’re in business – a great opportunity to make it another great weekend.

IÂ’ve heard a little whisper that EtoÂ’o is starting. I wonder who in place of... Can anyone enlighten me?

Paul Hewitt
46 Posted 21/09/2014 at 14:12:42
No changes today, I would think.
Tony Twist
47 Posted 21/09/2014 at 14:47:46
Of course he should rotate but a few choice people not a complete side. Besic, astu and Eto today whilst the defence stays the same as they need the practice! Robles being the exception to the rule, he should only play if Howard is injured!
Michael Penley
49 Posted 21/09/2014 at 15:01:17
I have a feeling we wonÂ’t win this one. Draw or loss, but more likely back to draw doldrums.
Neil Quinn
50 Posted 21/09/2014 at 15:04:43
Stones to right back, Distin into centre-half. Ossie in for Naismith & Atsu instead of McGeady. EtoÂ’o replaces Lukaku up front.
Mark Dunford
51 Posted 21/09/2014 at 15:06:02
No - lots of changes. Howard, Stones, Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Barry, Atsu, Osman, EtoÂ’o, McCarthy, Lukaku.

Make of that what you will! IÂ’m still working it out.

Mark Dunford
52 Posted 21/09/2014 at 15:08:09
And the bench. Robles, Besic, McGeady, Naismith, Mirallas, Gibson, Alcaraz.
Dave Pritchard
53 Posted 21/09/2014 at 15:17:50
Michael (49) I am not saying you are wrong and we'll know in a couple of hours or so but why so downbeat?
Jermaine Jennings
54 Posted 21/09/2014 at 15:29:01
I would like to see Besic in for Barry as well as to give Besic a game on Wednesday.
Jack Plant
55 Posted 21/09/2014 at 14:50:11
Interesting team for today, can see Eto'o having a blinder, glad to see Atsu getting some gametime as well.
Jack Plant
56 Posted 21/09/2014 at 15:37:16
Brian 32, like it, at least we know that after we've got this hurdle out of the way we can look forward to a couple of simple league games
Michael Penley
57 Posted 21/09/2014 at 15:37:02
Dave - It's the Everton way. Our confidence builds up and we get a few wins under the belt, and we collapse against a team we expect to beat easily. I hope it doesn't go that way today. On the plus side, I do think Roberto's gone about it the right way, making the changes he did.

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