Match to be played on Saturday 9th November 2013 at 15:00. Venue: Selhurst Park, London.
Everton will be looking to improve on that goalless draw against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend when they travel to Crystal Palace this Saturday.
Roberto Martinez’ men have made a very good start to the season and are currently only a point away from Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, all currently in the top four.
Martinez doesn’t have too many major injury concerns ahead of the game, with striker Romelu Lukaku one of the high profile doubts as he was taken off against Tottenham with a thigh problem.
Here’s the side that Martinez may go with.
GK – Tim Howard
The American has been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the Premier League so far this season. He has a brilliant command over the defensive back four in front of him and he’s able to make good saves from a variety of positions all over his penalty area.
RB – Seamus Coleman
Coleman has turned himself into Everton’s primary right-back and he’ll be looking for a big performance. Palace could look to attack Everton down the flanks, which makes Coleman a vital part of the defence.
CB – Phil Jagielka
Jagielka has turned himself into one of the best central defenders in England. His experience is great for knowing when to urge the rest of the defence to drop of or maintain a high line. He also provides a natural aerial threat at the other end of the pitch.
CB – Sylvain Distin
More experience injected into that back four. Distin took a knock against Spurs but he doesn’t seem to have suffered for it this week and should retain his place. He has a great relationship next to Jagielka.
LB – Leighton Baines
Baines is one of the best left-backs in the country and one of Everton’s most reliable players. He gets up and down the left well, tucking in next to Distin when Everton are under pressure but sticking forward to support the midfield when the Toffees control the ball well.
RM – Kevin Mirallas
Mirallas is likely to play wide midfield, drifting into central attacking positions when the situation warrants it. He’s been in good form this season and plays sensible football across the Everton midfield.
DM – Gareth Barry
Barry is superb when it comes to sitting in front of the back four and offering some extra protection. He cuts off the angles, which can sometimes go unnoticed, but makes it difficult for the opposition to move the ball around the pitch quickly or easily.
CM – Leon Osman
Osman offers control in the middle of the side as he protects possession well. He’s an original box-to-box midfielder, able to drop deep to help out Barry and the defence, pushing forward when Everton are on top to give the strikers and other midfielders an extra option.
AM – Ross Barkley
Barkley didn’t have a great game against Aston Villa a couple of weeks ago, which saw him benched for the Tottenham game but this is a match where he can really stamp his authority on proceedings. Barkley can play just off the front man, drifting all over the midfield which makes him near impossible to mark.
LM – Steven Pienaar
The South African can provide the width on the left side of midfield. He’s got a very good relationship with Baines that side and is a very clever player when it comes to pulling others out of position, which creates pockets of space for others to run into.
ST – Romelu Lukaku
If the on loan Chelsea star shakes off that thigh problem then he’ll start this game, which is terrible news for Palace. Lukaku’s ability in terms of movement, pace and strength is something he’s showcased on a weekly basis at Everton this season.
Which way do you see this match going?
image: © OliverN5