Morgan Schneiderlin is expected to come into the side to replace the suspended Fabian Delph
Everton are back at home this weekend for the visit of Crystal Palace in an early kick-off that affords them the opportunity to vault themselves into the conversation around European qualification.
The Blues can move up to seventh in the table and level on points with sixth place Sheffield United before the rest of their immediate rivals in the table play their games over two weekends that will form the Premier League's first ever winter break.
Carlo Ancelotti's men face an unpredictable opponent in the form of Palace who have come to Goodison and rained on Everton's parade on a few occasions in recent years. Under Roy Hodgson, the Eagles have flirted with the top half this season and despite coming into the game back down in 14th place, they are only three points behind their hosts this weekend.
They can also be dangerous away from Selhurst Park where they set up to play on the counter-attack and use Wilfried Zaha's pace, power and trickery to try and hurt players on the break. They drew 2-2 at Manchester City in their last away game in mid-January but you have to go back to the end of December for the last time they picked up three points on their travels.
Since that 2-0 win at Burnley, they've been averaging less than a goal a game home and away so while they can be a difficult side to break down, they also have problems scoring which is why they drafted in Cenk Tosun on loan until the end of the season.
The Turk won't be able to play this weekend as he is ineligible to face his parent club which will likely mean that Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate will be marshalling the likes of Christian Benteke and Jordan Ayew in Palace's attack.
Everton will have returned to Merseyside on the crest of a wave last Saturday after their thrilling 3-2 win at Watford which went a long way to banishing the lingering bad taste of that calamitous finale to their last home match against Newcastle.
A repeat of the performance in the first 93 minutes against the Magpies would be very much welcomed by the home faithful, with the obvious proviso that it delivers the requisite goals and is backed up by disciplined game management!
Ancelotti will be forced into at least one change following Fabian Delph's red card at Vicarage Road which means he must serve a one-match suspension and it is expected that Morgan Schneiderlin will come in to partner Gylfi Sigurdsson in central midfield.
With Bernard, the main source of creativity against Burnley, Brighton and Newcastle, having sat out the win at Watford, the Brazilian could be drafted back in to replace Alex Iwobi who would drop to the bench.
Elsewhere in the side he will, fitness permitting, most likely prefer to keep the side unchanged, particularly in view of the fact that his players will have another two weeks off after this one.
That's when the reverse fixtures of what was feared would be a difficult run of games in December roll around, starting with a trip to Arsenal on the 23rd. A win over Palace would provide the ideal platform for that clash at the Emirates and games against Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool beyond.
Kick-off: 12:30pm, Saturday 8 February
Referee: David Coote
VAR: Stuart Atwell
Last Time: Everton 2 - 0 Crystal Palace
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Sidibé, Mina, Holgate, Digne, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Walcott, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (75)
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1 Posted 07/02/2020 at 06:21:56
I don't get down very often, this being only my 3rd visit in the last 5 seasons, but the last two both saw us gain 2-0 victories against Norwich and Bournemouth (although the football wasn't very attractive on either occasion) so I hope that will be a good omen for us all.
2 Posted 07/02/2020 at 06:28:36
3 Posted 07/02/2020 at 06:51:51
Palace, on the other hand, have had a poor run of results recently but in that draws with Man City and Arsenal whilst handing 3 points to Sheff Utd on a plate. Need to remain cautious here, but stay focused and grind out a win here.
4 Posted 07/02/2020 at 07:55:36
Carlo is our lucky charm... well not really anything can happen with Everton
Everything depends on the players mentality on the day they have the tools to do the job. Kets hope both the players and fans can help get 3 points...
5 Posted 07/02/2020 at 07:57:08
We must keep pressing for Europe which I think is crucial for our progress.
6 Posted 07/02/2020 at 08:13:21
7 Posted 07/02/2020 at 08:18:19
Sidibe Keane Mina Digne
Siggy Holgate Bernard
Kean DCL Richarlison
Attack, attack, attack
Stek, Coleman, Schneiderlin, Davies, Iwobi, Walcott, Gordon
8 Posted 07/02/2020 at 08:39:36
9 Posted 07/02/2020 at 09:00:12
As Ajay above has suggested attack can be the best form of defence, and I hope they opt for a more attacking eleven from the start especially as we are at home.
Palace have been poor recently but should never be taken for granted and complacency can't be allowed to set in. A decent win will not only elevate our position in the Table but will be a good signing-off point in terms of confidence before the Winter Break.
10 Posted 07/02/2020 at 09:20:32
Palace will sit deep for the most part so I'd be tempted to drop Walcott whose main effectiveness comes when there is space in behind. I'd play Kean and put Richarlison on the right as he also works hard and can help combat Zaha. None of the options in the middle are inspiring but Schneiderlin is disciplined defensively and Sigurdsson's free kicks may required in what I expect to be a tight game.
There's a confidence slowly building in this team and, if we can play like we did for 90 minutes against Newcastle, then I think we should have enough.
Sidibe Holgate Mina Digne
Richarlison Sigurdsson Scheniderlin Bernard
Though I think Ajay's @7 suggestion of bringing in Keane and putting Holgate in DCM is a sound one as Keane should be a good matchup for Benteke.
11 Posted 07/02/2020 at 09:25:38
12 Posted 07/02/2020 at 09:26:03
13 Posted 07/02/2020 at 09:44:20
Quality balls into Everton forwards, especially from midfield is what is required and hopefully quality ball from set-pieces will continue from the last game.
I would also prefer a change in midfield with Holgate in and hopefully Bernard will be playing. . . I also would drop Walcott, bring in Sidebe in his position, with Coleman in support.
14 Posted 07/02/2020 at 10:07:26
Everton 2-0 will do.
15 Posted 07/02/2020 at 10:11:32
Palace will make it tough and it's the kind of game we've seen over the last few weeks where a win catapults us right into the mix for the European spots but we blow it. Let's hope the players and manager are learning their lessons!
Came across this the other day. The league table since Ancelotti took over.
16 Posted 07/02/2020 at 10:22:29
17 Posted 07/02/2020 at 11:10:21
The team probably picks itself. We have however been here before, and Palace are a better away side. We shall see but l still expect a win.
18 Posted 07/02/2020 at 11:15:36
19 Posted 07/02/2020 at 11:16:54
20 Posted 07/02/2020 at 11:25:00
21 Posted 07/02/2020 at 11:27:25
Of course it wont be the team, but Im not sure how the team can pick itself though, because of how poor we have looked in the middle of the park, even if some players are much better at Goodison Pk.
Im not sure it will be pretty tomorrow, with the weather forecast predicting strong wind, but James McCarthy, should be up for a scrap, so its important we are up to the job in the midfield.
22 Posted 07/02/2020 at 11:38:29
23 Posted 07/02/2020 at 11:50:42
I like your team but think CA will be a little more cautious. My own view goes with the Attack! Attack! Attack! suggestion
24 Posted 07/02/2020 at 12:16:29
25 Posted 07/02/2020 at 12:22:57
26 Posted 07/02/2020 at 12:40:23
Sorry Eds but only thing I could think of.
27 Posted 07/02/2020 at 12:56:21
Maybe we will see more changes tomorrow because it might be that Ancelotti is going to continue rotating, until he decides which players have got a future at the club?
Sorry for going on but if this team picks itself, Im staggered.
28 Posted 07/02/2020 at 13:15:18
Sidibe Keane Mina Digne
Richarlison Holgate Sigurdsson Bernard
Even though I think Schneiderlin and Walcott will be picked from the start.
I can't see Crystal Palace scoring more than 1, so we need to be attacking them from the off and be aiming for 2 or 3 [or more] goals.
FYI Yerry Mina is 20/1 to score first or 17/2 Hills to score at any time – the latter seems like a decent bet after Watford.
29 Posted 07/02/2020 at 13:26:09
Currently showing highlights of mid-week training.
30 Posted 07/02/2020 at 13:26:10
And for God's sake don't play the same team that started at Watford.
31 Posted 07/02/2020 at 13:50:50
32 Posted 07/02/2020 at 13:57:13
He should be given a free rein much like Bernard who when on his game can really stretch defences.
Walcott is and will always be a winger especially chasing a through ball but like Sterling wastes an awful lot.
On paper it should be another 3 points against Palace but football is a funny game, just look at the two Spanish cup games yesterday.
33 Posted 07/02/2020 at 14:01:59
Gbamin op went well and (perhaps optimistically to lift the guy's spirits) said he may be available before the end of the season.
Gomes still on course to return against Arsenal. Between that and the Palace game, players will have five days off, but planning a closed day friendly on their return to see how Gomes goes.
With Delph out, Carlo says he has 3 players to choose from: Siggy, Schniederlin and Davies. Two of them will play. One will be on the bench.
Very honest about how we have been playing. Looking 'confused' at times. Wants the team to be more certain and 'precise' more consistently.
Also honest about the last two results. Shouldn't have dropped two points at home to Newcastle. Lucky to get the win at Watford.
34 Posted 07/02/2020 at 14:06:49
I would say the reverse is true for this fixture.
Defense is the best form of attack
Palace are a counter attacking team with a 5 man midfield.
IMO we need to keep it tight and rely on Bernard and Siggy to open them up.
For this game I would bring Keane in and put Mason as DM where he can also keep an eye on Zaha who is bound to give Sidibe a difficult time.
35 Posted 07/02/2020 at 15:04:45
As usual their danger is Zaha, so keeping the supply away from him is the key. If and its a big if Everton can keep the ball then Sidibé who looks weak against an opponent like Zaha will be a strength going the other way.
Id been extremely uncomfortable with Schneiderlin & Sigurdsson in midfield. Last time it was Anfield and we become immobile and our energy is non-existent. A player with energy along side the Icelander is what is required. Their inability to move the ball quickly and neither break beyond the lines means our creativity is reliant on vertical balls from the centre backs, the full backs and Bernard.
The problem is who would you play there, the only other option is Davies. Personally Id try Iwobi with Schneiderlin, we are at home and we should have the ball, he breaks the lines and is progressive.
Ancellotti isnt one to rock the boat, and results are coming, I cant see beyond Lyndons choice.
36 Posted 07/02/2020 at 15:54:16
37 Posted 07/02/2020 at 15:54:56
We can expect Carlo to have helped rectify this.
38 Posted 07/02/2020 at 16:00:19
I hope its Davies and Sigurdsson.
39 Posted 07/02/2020 at 16:16:42
Playing wide can be such a horrible thankless task, (it definitely looks this way when watching Iwobi play there) whereas playing inside is usually easier, especially if you are the type of player who would sooner let the ball do the work.
Its been ruled out by the boss anyway, because hes told everyone today its going to be two from Davies, and the two eses!
40 Posted 07/02/2020 at 16:23:23
Having said that I think we will win this one, after coming from two down at Watford the players should have gained confidence with that win. In addition, Ancelotti will be getting to know the players better and they will understand what he wants from them also.
2-1 or 2-0 to us.
41 Posted 07/02/2020 at 16:38:41
Also, I hope the match isn't called off due to Storm Ciara, as this happened before with Palace and it probably cost us a Champions League place. COYB and get into Europe, and show everyone what a joke it was appointing that serial loser, Silva.
42 Posted 07/02/2020 at 17:19:23
43 Posted 07/02/2020 at 17:31:56
Sidibé Mina Keane Digne
Richarlison Calvert-Lewin Kean Bernard
44 Posted 07/02/2020 at 17:49:14
45 Posted 07/02/2020 at 17:53:17
Beggars can't be choosers in our midfield at the moment, and we are unfortunately the beggars.
Pretty sure we're going to see:
Sidibe Holgate Mina Digne
Walcott Schneiderlin Sigurdsson Bernard
The good news is that Digne/Bernard won't have to deal with Wan-Bissaka this time; he cause nightmares down our left side last season.
Personally I'd only make 2 small changes, but I've not been right a single time, so don't count on it... :-)
Sidibe Holgate Mina Digne
Richarlison Schneiderlin Sigurdsson Bernard
46 Posted 07/02/2020 at 17:57:21
Crystal Palace will sit back very deep, scared to hell of Richarlison and Walcott for pace. They will rely on Zaha to create what few chances that might come their way. We need to score quickly to open them up and come out, which they won't until the last 20 mins or so. If we get a quick second goal, we will be safe.
Might need Bernard to help us open them up if we haven't scored by half-time. A cagey game ahead...
47 Posted 07/02/2020 at 18:02:14
48 Posted 07/02/2020 at 18:12:45
Ah, John, you've been and gone and done it. Ya tempted the footballing gods!
We'll have to score six to get a draw now.
49 Posted 07/02/2020 at 18:26:03
50 Posted 07/02/2020 at 19:53:36
51 Posted 07/02/2020 at 22:06:11
52 Posted 08/02/2020 at 03:52:57
My son would not have a home to live in if he didn't follow Everton. Born not manufactured, hope the boys get a win for you and hope your son enjoyed the game that Dunc took charge of 3-1.
53 Posted 08/02/2020 at 05:51:48
I'm hoping we will edge a tight game 1-0.
54 Posted 08/02/2020 at 06:12:14
Answer [note, Ancelotti completely blowing it off, yet brilliantly addressing the topic just enough to give it credence]:
"I think Liverpool is going to win the league. I hope not in Goodison Park. There are a lot of stadiums. Why in Goodison Park?"
1. This man is an expert at diffusing situations
2. I promise you, we've never been in better hands.
Tomorrow - Everton 3, CP 1.
6 hours and 15 or so minutes to kick off. Better get to bed!
55 Posted 08/02/2020 at 08:09:39
56 Posted 08/02/2020 at 08:18:51
After Newcastle and Watford, this game will show the character of the team currently. I'm confident. Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Kean all to score.
Hope Bernard plays, hope Gordon gets some minutes.
Midfield is a worry I guess but it will be until next season.
57 Posted 08/02/2020 at 08:46:33
Oh Davies is one of us... Blue through and through, well so am I. Born within a stone's throw of the tower. Can I get a game on those merits? I think not. My age, 73, possibly, is a factor. 🤔🤣
Should win today. COYB!
Please no Schneiderlin or Davies.
58 Posted 08/02/2020 at 08:58:12
This will be like the Newcastle game where we will have a lot of the ball but they are much better both as a team and on the counter. They are generally better under Hodgson away from Selhurst.
I would bite your hand off for a 1-0 win.
59 Posted 08/02/2020 at 09:00:37
No prizes for guessing who is top of the pens scored list
60 Posted 08/02/2020 at 09:06:03
61 Posted 08/02/2020 at 09:06:19
Hopefully an early goal will liven things up and we can then channel the atmosphere similar to Duncans first game against Chelsea.
A clean sheet today would be good as well please Jordan.
If Bernard starts I fancy him to score, hes due one I reckon.
Full Support 💙
62 Posted 08/02/2020 at 09:14:21
63 Posted 08/02/2020 at 09:20:51
Also gang. We need to raise £250,000 for my friend Ashley to join a trial in Germany to fight pancreatic cancer. We have a huge fundraising day in Hereford today and I want to sell my prized possession. I have a holy trinity poster signed by the trinity and a lot of the other players they played with. Its authenticated and verified. If any of you guys know a great site to auction it, or if anybody here is interested, or we have a blind auction here, just fire me a message here and Ill get a picture of it to you. Any ideas on the best way to raise most money by selling it are massively appreciated.
Let hop by 5pm were all smiling
64 Posted 08/02/2020 at 09:36:31
Even if you got Grand Old Team (sorry Eds) and some other fan sites involved, you would have the numbers possibly to achieve your target or thereabouts. Only a suggestion my friend.
65 Posted 08/02/2020 at 09:50:00
Really been ramped up. Hope we are not the fall guys when he starts throwing himself around the pitch.
66 Posted 08/02/2020 at 09:54:59
67 Posted 08/02/2020 at 10:02:30
68 Posted 08/02/2020 at 10:03:48
I used to get mad at my school (No, I can't complain)
The teachers who taught me weren't cool (No, I can't complain)
You're holding me down
Turning me round
Filling me up with your rules
I've got to admit it's getting better (Better)
A little better all the time (It can't get no worse)
I have to admit it's getting better (Better)
It's getting better
Since you've been mine”
Sitting at my writing desk 3 Floors up in New Brighton - - looking out at a majestic Vistula through my windows - - Beatles on in the background - - grey this morning when I got up - - very little colour - - but now with the match coming on the horizon the grey has gone and a wonderful Bluetiful sky is everywhere - - from Whistler to Monet in a short time - - wonderful.
“Oh sweet thing, sweet thing
My, my, my, my, my sweet thing
And I shall drive my chariot
Down your streets and cry
Hey, it's me, I'm dynamite
And I don't know why'
And you shall take me strongly
In your arms again
And I will not remember
That I even felt the pain.
We shall walk and talk
In gardens all misty and wet with rain
And I will never, never, never
Grow so old again.”
Van filling my soul and spirit with beauty - - wonder - - and mysticism - - what a life - - what a day to be Blue - - like everyday - - I am in that spiritual moment where I am preparing myself for the day ahead - - to face the wind - - the cold - - but also to bathe in the winter sun - - feel The Blue - - catch the warmth emanating in waves from The Dark House - - Float on The Mystic - - down Wessie Road - - passing the old baths - - along Smith Street - - catching the wind and drifting up Lambeth Road to say “hello” to Mary Walsh in Harcourt Street - - along Stanley Road passing The Growie (Grosvenor) - - a quick swirl around Great Mersey Street - - lingering near St. Alphonsus Church and Primary School - - along to Boundary Street - - Bobs Newsagents where I was the paperboy in the early 60s - - Scottie and memories - - Bluetiful memories - - going to the match in the early 60s with Bancy Clarke - - carrying Otis Blue under my arm - - showing off - - meeting Mary Martin - - a really cool dancer and Soul Sister - - Otis - -The Temptations - - The Impressions -- “and shes got to say Its Allright - - have a good time - - cos its Allright” - - had a get together recently with some of my old friends from Cardinal Godfrey - - remember getting on the 33 Dockers Bus in Whittle Street - - every day -- and up the Valley to Breck Road and Stalag Luft Cardinal Godfrey - - saw someone I hadnt set eyes on for 60 years' - - marvellous - - spending our bus fare in The Tuck Shop and walking home along Breck Road - - up Mere Lane and down to Netherfield Road - - King Billy on his White Horse in Fan Lights - - and Home - - - how lucky were we who lived through those days of Innocence and wonder - - these are The Days that formed us:
“Can I see anothers woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see anothers grief,
And not seek for kind relief?
Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrows share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?
Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!”
Let Em In - - William Blake - - Rave on John Donne - - Walt Whitman - - William Wordsworth - -somebody better open up the door - - Roy Rogers - - The Lone Ranger - - Tonto - - Robin Hood and Little John - - Zorro and The Cisco Kid.
We are The Lucky People - - We Are The People - - God Bless Ma Joad - - another great Evertonian - - if you have seen Jane Darwell in The Grapes of Wrath you are looking at and indeed listening to Anne Mc Kane - - my Ma - -
“I aint never gonna be scared no more. I was, though. For a while it looked as though we was beat. Good and beat. Looked like we didnt have nobody in the whole wide world but enemies. Like nobody was friendly no more. Made me feel kinda bad and scared too, like we was lost and nobody cared…. Rich fellas come up and they die, and their kids aint no good and they die out, but we keep on coming. Were the people that live. They cant wipe us out, they cant lick us. Well go on forever, Pa, cause were the people.”
All of those gang on here - -Tony, Dave, Darren - - and God Bless You All - - know what real Scotland Road Mums were like - - absolutely the greats - - the font of all wisdom - - compassion - - strength - - toughness - - energy - - and real genuine love for the family - - and I love her - - she was a wonderful woman - - heres to All Our Mums:
“Ma Joad: How am I gonna know about ya, Tommy? Why they could kill ya and I'd never know. They could hurt ya. How am I gonna know?
Tom Joad: Well, maybe it's like Casy says. A fellow ain't got a soul of his own, just a little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody, then...
Ma Joad: Then what, Tom?
Tom Joad: Then it don't matter. I'll be around in the dark - I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people cant eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they buid - I'll be there, too.”
OK gang - - gotta go - - early KO and all - - early check in TDH - - Full Drill - - behind the ears and checking for tide marks and clean undies - - in case we get run over.
Sending Cosmic Blue waves out over The Astral to Fellow Blues - - however you support The Blues – final bit on the Music and then off :
“When I wake up in the morning, love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
Bears heavy on my mind
Then I look at you
And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day
A lovely day
When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way
Then I look at you
And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day
A lovely day”
Written and sent with Cosmic thoughts and a warm handshake - - - Up The Blues and God Bless Pop Moran and Father Winder - - - Get on The Love Train - - your friend - - George
69 Posted 08/02/2020 at 10:29:39
Seems ages since we had a Saturday game, at least the predicted storm-like weather has not reached us yet or abated, don't like them games in swirling winds.
While I appreciate it is the same for both sides, historically it always seemed to be us that the freak goal was scored against. Still, hopefully that has been largely condemned to the past, since Carlo has arrived there is definitely not only a good feeling, but a renewed faith in our results and a genuine optimism in the players and fans alike.
One added bonus tonight (hopefully) that we will enjoy a lion's portion on Match of the Day, with there only being two games today in the Premier League.
70 Posted 08/02/2020 at 10:43:09
Warm handshake returned.
71 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:01:25
Words of wisdom from my late, great beautiful Nanny Laurie.
Made me smile that.
72 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:28:32
73 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:30:26
74 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:42:52
75 Posted 08/02/2020 at 11:46:15
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