Why Everton will be hoping James McCarthy is ready for weekend duty

Everton Goodison 3

Everton have offered a positive update on the fitness of James McCarthy and could see him return to their ranks against Crystal Palace.

Everton have found the going a little tough of late, and things are not about to get any easier.

Two of their next three fixtures will see them take in a derby date with arch-rivals Liverpool and make a daunting trip to Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Before attention turns to those crunch clashes, though, there is the small matter of a meeting with Crystal Palace to contend with.

Few sides will be relishing a contest with the Eagles right now, with Alan Pardew’s arrival having had the desired impact in south London.

Palace are unbeaten under their new boss, winning all four of their games under his guidance in league and cup.

They have become hard to beat, and that makes it imperative that Everton travel to the capital on Saturday ready for a battle.

Roberto Martinez has revealed to the club’s official website that James McCarthy could come back into contention, and his return would be most welcome if he makes the travelling party.

  Duel Won GAMEAccurate Pass GAMETotal Through Ball GAMEAerial Won GAMETotal Tackle GAMETouches GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Ross Barkley 6.93 43.13 0.27 1.13 1.27 66.87 15 1,146
James McCarthy 6.23 51.38 0 1.69 2.31 73.38 13 1,104
Muhamed Besic 5.21 39.36 0.07 0.21 2.57 58.21 14 861
Gareth Barry 4.8 58.75 0.2 1.2 2.3 80.6 20 1,723
Leon Osman 2.55 31.36 0.18 0.45 0.82 46.91 11 592
Darron Gibson 2 30 0 0.67 0 37.33 3 84

While he has not posted club-leading numbers in any of the areas listed above, he fares admirably in all of them.

It is his overall game which makes him such a valuable member of the squad and his willingness to get stuck in which will make him an important asset if available against Palace.

Martinez will also be eager to see the Republic of Ireland international get important minutes under his belt before considering him for duty in epic duels with local foes and title-chasing superpowers.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch