Ramiro Funes Mori will come in for the injured Phil Jagielka as one enforced change from the team that drew at Watford
Everton complete a trio of away fixtures in the Premier League with a visit to Selhurst Park this evening to take on Crystal Palace where Roberto Martinez will be hoping to end a sequence of four games without a victory.
The Toffees have won only one of their last six league games and have suffered a marked drop in performances since their stirring win over Chelsea in the FA Cup. A dreadful home defeat to Arsenal was followed by a flat and uninspired loss to Manchester United, while last Saturday's draw with Watford was slightly improved, Martinez's men were still far below the levels they've shown they can reach at times this season.
That run of results has seen Everton drop to a miserable 14th place in the table, although a second successive victory on Palace's home turf would move them up to 11th. Defeat on the other hand, would see Blues drop to 15th and allow Alan Pardew's side to leapfrog above them.
Just like the clash with Watford, this is a meeting between two teams looking ahead to a Wembley semi-final while also battling declining fortunes in the League. Prior to their win over Norwich City at the weekend, Palace had gone an eye-watering 14 games without a win in the Premier League and dropped like a dead weight down the table having previously been out-pacing expectations in the top six earlier in the campaign.
Like his counterpart in the away dugout this evening, Pardew will be hoping that his side can now put together a run of results to move them back into a more respectable part of the table while also boosting confidence ahead of their cup semi-final the weekend after next.
He will be without the recovering James McArthur but can welcome back striker Emmanuel Adebayor who has one goal to his name since Palace ended his exile by snapping him in the January transfer window.
Martinez, meanwhile, will be forced into at least one change after Phil Jagielka limped off at Vicarage Road with a hamstring strain that may yet preclude his involvement at Wembley on the 23rd. With the manager publicly declaring his confidence that he can comfortably fill the void, Ramiro Funes Mori will almost certainly be his replacement alongside John Stones.
In midfield, Ross Barkley is expected to play despite also coming off against Watford with a knock but Tom Cleverley, his second-half replacement in that match, is rated as doubtful with an injury of his own.
With the pressure on him to get a result on the one hand and the fact that his recent team selections haven't melded to produce the kind of attacking football that made Everton so attractive to watch going forward earlier in the season on the other, it's not clear how daring Martinez will be in shaking things up in what could be a dress rehearsal for the cup final next month.
With the likes of Darron Gibson, Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman struggling for fitness of late and Oumar Niasse also battling to adapt to life in England, the Catalan's options are limited in what he can do in terms of reshuffling his pack. Bringing Kevin Mirallas in for Aaron Lennon or, more likely, Gerard Deulofeu, is one option after the Belgian's energetic cameo last time out.
It's probable, therefore, that he will persist with his recent formation and the bulk of that personnel in the hope that the glimmers of life they showed against Watford can spark some sort of revival in his team's performances.
Kick off: 8pm
Craig Pawson Mike Jones
Predicted line-up: Robles, Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Barkley, Lennon, Mirallas, Lukaku
Full coverage: ToffeeWeb match page
Reader Comments (62)
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1 Posted 13/04/2016 at 04:26:26
Lyndon, I guess you are right with your team selections yet I would like to see some of our 21s get a run. Man Utd, with much more to lose is giving its lots of its kids first team experience.
During the 60s we were going through a rough trot and though our reserve side was sweeping all before it in its division most of those players never got a look in.
Man Utd will benefit from its youth policy and good luck to them. The only advantage in our situation is being able to follow suit by giving our kids a chance.
2 Posted 13/04/2016 at 06:21:38
I can see Palace getting a few goals and winning this one, what fight we use to have has gone. Shame for the travelling fans, the only thing Martinez got right in his pre-match interview, saying we have the best fans in the world.
Prove me wrong, Roberto, somehow I don't think you can.
3 Posted 13/04/2016 at 06:52:03
Hope I'm wrong...
4 Posted 13/04/2016 at 07:06:30
Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines;
Deulofeu, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas;
5 Posted 13/04/2016 at 07:12:41
6 Posted 13/04/2016 at 07:22:27
And for the record, I would give Barkley a rest and play Mirallas behind Lukaku with Lennon back on the right.
7 Posted 13/04/2016 at 08:09:16
8 Posted 13/04/2016 at 08:30:53
We need to start winning to lift everyone before the semi!
9 Posted 13/04/2016 at 08:32:42
Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines;br> Barry;
Lennon, Besic, Niasse;
10 Posted 13/04/2016 at 08:34:46
So even the fans of Palace can pick apart what is wrong at Everton yet the chairman seems oblivious.
11 Posted 13/04/2016 at 09:03:50
Imagine, if we get a point tonight, we will reach the magical figure of 40 points. And this half-way through April... I think that says it all.
12 Posted 13/04/2016 at 09:05:08
Thanks for the link. A fair, detailed analysis. Good to read perceptive criticism without the usual added nonsense of "..and it doesn't matter if we win the Cup..."
13 Posted 13/04/2016 at 09:09:04
14 Posted 13/04/2016 at 09:25:10
Barkley, Stones, Deulofeu and Mirallas seem particularly deficient!
15 Posted 13/04/2016 at 09:30:11
I would play Mirallas on the left and try and find a place somewhere for Besic as that back four without Jags will struggle. Maybe rest Barkley who at best has been poor in recent weeks and at worst has been a liability that shits out of every challenge... maybe trying to keep fit for the Euros?
16 Posted 13/04/2016 at 09:39:41
It's hardly like Barkley is pulling up trees at the minute anyway. Throw Deulofeu in the centre behind Lukaku and tell him to quit those needless stupid step-overs (it only looks good when Cristiano Ronaldo pulls it off).
We need to find some flipping form because the chances of beating a really decent Southampton team at bogey ground Goodison Park is remote and then of course it's the place where we have registered about 5 shots on goal in 15 years.. Anfield.
Going to Wembley with such horrendous form would be worrying.
17 Posted 13/04/2016 at 09:54:47
I see Liverpool, have put themseles forward, to host the Commonwealth games, ten years from now, citing the regeneration of the North side of the city. Maybe we could still get a ground on "the waterfront" after all?
Back to the game, a non-event really, unless we see the effort, that shows us that the players are prepared to roll up their sleeves and fight for themselves and the fans even if they have no faith left in the manager.
18 Posted 13/04/2016 at 09:58:48
19 Posted 13/04/2016 at 10:43:54
Five Blue-noses going to the game from Kent so hoping for the right attitude to turn up for this one. But is Besic injured? I'd like to see him in for McCarthy.
20 Posted 13/04/2016 at 10:50:29
So back to Palace then, god only knows how the manager will set the team up and with who playing where. Have to say I reckon we could get a result here as Palace are not setting the world alight are they?
But maybe it's just the sort of game we get turned over in, who knows? I do know that I'm totally confused with Roberto and his thinking, he just seems to have lost the plot with some of his comments. So come on, then who thinks what about tonight's game?
21 Posted 13/04/2016 at 10:51:52
22 Posted 13/04/2016 at 11:00:55
23 Posted 13/04/2016 at 11:30:27
24 Posted 13/04/2016 at 11:44:19
25 Posted 13/04/2016 at 12:19:18
I still don't know how such a guy can be hired as a Premier League manager. The amount of nonsense he comes out with is incredible. Cannot imagine what the players think of him.
As to the game I'm completely apathetic. Any sort of result would good just from a moral basis but I really cannot see us winning. Palace finally won on the weekend to pretty much leave them safe so will be more relaxed and up for it. A win would take them from 16th to 12th and push us down to 15th! A win for us and we'd be back to the heady heights of 11th.
Just looking at our league finishes, you have to go back to the 2003-04 season for the last time we finished below 11th, our position last year. In fact, before Martinez took over we'd finished in the top half 7 years in a row, qualifying for Europe in 4 of them (that's not to say I want Moyes back). If Martinez doesn't manage a top half finish this season, surely his number will be up.
We're 5 points behind Chelsea in 10th and tonight is our game in hand anything other than a win and we can pretty much say goodbye to top half this season. Southampton away and then the derby I don't see to many wins for us over the next week.
27 Posted 13/04/2016 at 12:24:53
29 Posted 13/04/2016 at 13:28:08
"The match typified Everton's season. Go one up on the stroke of half time and yet find a way of going into the break level."
Only Everton. We could be four up heading into injury time and draw. I'm desperate for us to win the FA Cup. Tonight, not so arsed. A defeat and it might quicken his exit.
Just despair. Hate him.
30 Posted 13/04/2016 at 13:36:01
Another piece of news which may or may not affect Everton FC is that Mayor Joe Anderson is exploring the possibility of the City of Liverpool hosting the 2026 Commonwealth games.
33 Posted 13/04/2016 at 14:03:13
I would have thought the possibility of playing in an FA Cup final would be players' incentive rather than, in your view, 'overshadow' their ambition to be there to win the most important trophy in English football by performing to their full potential in every pre game.
From an Evertonian point of view, even in today's world of mega millions, most of us would indeed move mountains and pay well over the odds to see us at least be there as I did in '66 and three more Finals later.
Why our present squad seemingly lacks that incentive,shown by our fantastic supporters in every game, is down to ONE man's inability to know when his tactics, obvious to everyone but himself, just don't work.
34 Posted 13/04/2016 at 14:08:06
But come on please, these players, international players are definitely hiding behind Martinez, taking the flak on here â€“ fact!!!
Remember he is a person, family man and respected man, who obviously wants to do well at least for his own self-respect. Come on, give up this name-calling, slating a man trying to do a job.
35 Posted 13/04/2016 at 14:15:42
Roberto said himself he would get this final 3rd over with then we sit down and assess once the season is over. In other words, you're not good enough to take us to the next step.
36 Posted 13/04/2016 at 14:21:15
Anyway, back to tonight's game. Please play this team, Roberto:
Robles; Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines; Barry, McCarthy; Lennon, Deulofeu, Mirallas; Lukaku.
37 Posted 13/04/2016 at 14:56:09
I pray we don't lose tonight because Crystal Palace will go above us and we will look pretty silly sitting in 15th place or, to put it another way 6th from bottom. I genuinely thought those days were behind us.
38 Posted 13/04/2016 at 15:05:48
39 Posted 13/04/2016 at 15:09:26
I do not think the "old lady" will last that long. We need a cunning plan and Bobby and Bill have been planning something spectacular!! I hope!!! :)
40 Posted 13/04/2016 at 15:12:16
I fear you are probably right. I go back to the very late '50's and through some good and not so good managers and this guy is taking us below the standards set by Mike Walker and it is depressing in the extreme.
Tonight's game is going to say a lot because it is the first since the press have really upped the anti on questioning his stewardship of this club. A win is a must tonight if only to give the players a lift prior to Saturday and next week's two important games.
41 Posted 13/04/2016 at 15:14:32
42 Posted 13/04/2016 at 15:17:37
I hope we do lose tonight because I can't see us going any further in the cup with him at the helm. He's sapping the life out of the team.
He needs to be gone before the Derby and semi next week.
43 Posted 13/04/2016 at 15:27:21
44 Posted 13/04/2016 at 15:47:03
45 Posted 13/04/2016 at 15:51:33
Expect to see him lead Everton out at Wembley at least once in the coming weeks!
46 Posted 13/04/2016 at 15:54:50
Myself and my sister have a tradition of going the match together every year on our birthdays. She asked me, so which match we going to? I said none, don't want to ruin my day.
That's where I'm at with this shower. Well done Roberto, you dick!
49 Posted 13/04/2016 at 16:40:22
50 Posted 13/04/2016 at 16:57:59
Can't see us getting anything at Palace though, a draw would be a good result.
51 Posted 13/04/2016 at 17:07:31
52 Posted 13/04/2016 at 17:22:24
I guess it's a measure of how low our standards have dropped but I wouldn't class a draw as a good result tonight against a team lower than us in the table, and there aren't many of those.
I'm personally sick of draws and taking crumbs of comfort from being hard to beat away from home, I don't know about anyone else but I feel as though I have hardly seen Everton win games this past year or two.
53 Posted 13/04/2016 at 17:24:47
Or maybe this is all just wishful thinking on my part.
54 Posted 13/04/2016 at 17:46:51
We need a little bit of confidence before the semi-final, and confidence was in short supply on Saturday, at least judging from my position near the touchline.
55 Posted 13/04/2016 at 17:50:34
56 Posted 13/04/2016 at 18:22:05
At least with a caretaker (or even better a proper manager) in place, they will have tried to change things. If it's still Bobby the board are basically closing their eyes crossing their fingers and wishing that it'll work in our favour.
57 Posted 13/04/2016 at 18:45:02
Would you really trust any of the current staff with the job, even on an interim basis?
59 Posted 13/04/2016 at 18:52:36
Did Someone called Gerry Queen play for them? Also would anyone be kind enough to tell how to put words in blue titled link, so that I can show stuff to other Evertonians. It seems like fucking witchcraft to me.
60 Posted 13/04/2016 at 18:56:57
61 Posted 13/04/2016 at 18:58:01
62 Posted 13/04/2016 at 18:59:23
63 Posted 13/04/2016 at 19:02:30
64 Posted 13/04/2016 at 19:06:24
Having said that, Everton have been struggling too, so let's not take Palace lightly. We need to see a big game from Barkley and whoever plays between Lennon and Mirallas.
Regarding the faces we haven't seen for a while I think it's safe to say they should be moved out as they are neither use nor ornament and aren't likely to be due to their age and injury problems.
66 Posted 13/04/2016 at 19:07:46
67 Posted 13/04/2016 at 19:09:38
Never thought I would say that about Everton! Thank you, Roberto!
68 Posted 13/04/2016 at 19:12:35
69 Posted 13/04/2016 at 19:19:38
If he plays Kone on the left instead of Niasse then the game really is up and Martinez knows he has bought a dud. A very expensive dud.
At least we allegedly recouped the majority of the money on kroldrup. Can't see anyone giving us £10M for Niasse.
70 Posted 13/04/2016 at 19:22:18
We played far better when Mirallas came on. For all the grief he gets on here, I still think he is one of our best attacking threats! Both sendings off (while foolish) were because of his over eagerness to impress, get stuck in and win his spot back.
I've been there and understand that sometimes the harder you try the more you'll mess up.
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