Crystal Palace vs Everton

Saturday, 18 November, 2017 0comments  |  Jump to last
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Will Oumar Niasse spearhead the attack again after his crucial goalscoring intervention last time out against Watford?

David Unsworth continues at the helm in what, officially at least, remains an interim capacity as Everton resume Premier League action this weekend against Crystal Palace.

The Blues travel to Selhurst Park, the scene of their last away win way back in January, hoping to record back-to-back victories for the first time since September. The successive triumphs over Sunderland in the Carabao Cup and Bournemouth in the League also marked the last time Everton had won in any competition prior to the meeting with Watford last time out.

Now, with the last international break of the year out the way, they are looking to put a run of results together that will get the club back on an even keel and banish further talk of a relegation battle this season.

Having overseen three successive defeats away from Goodison Park since taking over from Ronald Koeman but with the benefit of a further fortnight to get more settled into his role, this promises to be another test of Unsworth's suitability for a longer stint as stand-in manager or as a candidate for the job on a permanent basis.

With seemingly little progress made regarding other options, Unsworth could get a few more games to prove himself and he will know that wins are the only currency that will purchase him a position he clearly covets.

Once again, all eyes will be on his chosen formation, line-up and approach to taking on a team that sit bottom of the division after the worst possible start but one which has shown signs of improvement recently under Roy Hodgson.

The Eagles beat Chelsea 2-1 at home a month ago and drew 2-2 with fellow strugglers West Ham, managing goals for the first time at Selhurst Park while losing only narrowly away at Newcastle and Tottenham.

Hodgson also looks set to welcome Christian Benteke back to his side following injury, one player Everton would have preferred not to be facing given their defensive vulnerabilities this season, particularly at set-pieces.

Unsworth, meanwhile, insists that there are no problems with either Morgan Schneiderlin or Kevin Mirallas following reports and rumours of a lack of commitment and discipline from the duo and that both are available for selection.

Schneiderlin has started only one game in the last month, that his ill-fated appearance at Lyon where he was sent off in the 3-0 defeat while Mirallas hasn't figured since coming off at half-time at Leicester and it would not be a surprise if neither player made the starting XI this weekend.

A starting midfield trio of Idrissa Gueye, Beni Baningime and Tom Davies is more likely again, with Ademola Lookman perhaps providing the width if Unsworth doesn't opt for two strikers.

Depending on how results shake out elsewhere, Everton could rise to 12th with a win, close the gap further on the top half of the table and put more daylight between themselves and the bottom three.

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 18 November, 2017
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Last Time: Crystal Palace 0 - 1 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Kenny, Keane, Jagielka, Baines, Gueye, Baningime, Davies, Lookman, Rooney, Niasse


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