Date: 8th November 2013 at 2:18am
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Everton travel to Selhurst Park to take on a struggling Crystal Palace side on Saturday afternoon. Last week Everton played out a rather dull 0-0 draw against Tottenham, and will be looking to bounce back to winning ways as they attempt to stay in the race for the top 4 positions. Crystal Palace have endured a tough start to the Premier League season, having lost their manager, they also succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to West Brom, their 7th consecutive league loss. After the draw last week, 2nd to 7th is only separated by a point, and with the potential to go to 2nd, Everton need to take advantage of the struggling Eagles and claim the 3pts

Vital Quotes:

Everton manager Roberto Martinez on the main talking point from Sunday’s draw, which was the injury to Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris

“My view is that it should not be a manager`s decision if you are taking a player off or not [due to concussion], If it is a strong view from the medical authorities that if a player gets concussed he should come off, I think we should look into it and make it a rule. It should be part of the game and be a law. It would be very unfair to be a manager in a position where you have to take a player off just to avoid any sort of risk without having that medical knowledge.

“I think if it comes as a rule there is understanding for everyone that if it happens the player should come off and it wouldn`t count as a substitute, it would be a lot easier.

“I think if you are put in a position where a player has to come off and the three substitutions have been made it would be a shame and affect the competition. You wouldn`t like to see a team down to ten men but the last thing you want is to put the health at risk of any player.

“So I think it is a serious, serious issue that needs to be spoken about and find the right decision from the top. The authorities should find a rule that goes into the game.”

Crystal Palace Team News:

Crystal Palace received a big blow after it was confirmed that Guedioura will be out for 6 weeks after puncturing a lung and breaking 2 ribs in the loss to West Brom. The Algerian will join midfielder Jonathan Williams (ankle), vice-captain Paddy McCarthy (groin), striker Glen Murray (knee ligament) and defender Jack Hunt (ankle) on the injury list.

Possible Starting XI: Speroni, Ward, Moxey, Dikgacoi, Gabbidon, Delaney, Bannan, Jedinak, Chamakh, Puncheon, Thomas

Player to watch: Mile Jedinak

I have kept tabs on the Australian since his days playing in Australia, and he has done a terrific job for Palace leading them into the Premier League, and in my opinion, he has been the Eagles’ best player thus far. The Aussie will be in for a tough time on Saturday, he will have to keep tabs on the likes of Mirallas, Barkley and Pienaar. For Palace to have any chance, Jedinak is going to have to have a big game.

Everton Team News:

Martinez confirmed that striker Arouna Kone faces a struggle to return this season after damaging cartilage in his knee in the sides 2-1 win over Hull City a month ago. Kone will join Darron Gibson (knee) on the long term injury list. In some good news, on loan striker Romelu Lukaku has recovered from the knock he took in the collision with Spurs keeper Lloris, and is set to start against the Eagles. The only other injury news is that Alcaraz (groin) will miss the match, but could be a chance to make his debut after the international break.

Possible Starting XI: Howard, Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas, Pienaar, Barkley, Lukaku

Player to watch: Ross Barkley

After a pretty quiet 2-3wks from the youngster, he was dropped for the Spurs game, and in some cases this might of had a negative effect on a youngster, however, Barkley was a true professional and when he got his chance, he made an impact for Everton. He changed the momentum of the game, which was heavily in Spurs’ favour, and made us look a much more dangerous and balanced in attack. I would imagine he would get the start against Palace, and given that we will have the majority of possession, he will have plenty of time to show what he is capable of.

Match Facts & Stats

1. The last meeting between the two sides came back in April 2005, where Everton came out 4-0 winners. This game does hold a place in the history books of the Premier League, as it was the game where James Vaughan became the youngest ever Premier League goal scorer.

2. This will be Everton 4,301st top flight match, no other side has reached the 4000 game mark.

3. Mirallas, alongside Giroud, Ozil and Aguero, lead the league in assists with 4.

4. After being winless in 11 away games, Everton have won back to back away games over West Ham and Aston Villa

5. Crystal Palace has won 1 and lost 4 games this season at Selhurst Park

Match Prediction:

On paper you would think this has an Everton win all over it, however, there are no easy games in this league, especially away from home, and judging from Palace’s last home game, where Arsenal were made to work hard for the 3pts, it won’t be easy for Everton. However, with the league so close, especially from 2nd to 7th, Everton simply have to take 3pts from this match. With Lukaku being confirmed that he is fit enough to play against Palace, just think Everton will have a bit too much for Palace and win 2-0 courtesy of goals from Lukaku and Barkley. COYB!!!! THIS GAME IS A MUST WIN, NEED THE 3PTS LADS!!!!