Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has said that Everton’s experience should give them the advantage over his side in terms of the league standings come the end of the season, the Mirror reports.
Palace have begun the campaign where they left off last season, impressing in a number of ways as they currently sit in eighth position in the Premier League table, seven points off the top four.
Everton are a little further behind in 11th, but a four-game unbeaten run has delivered fresh optimism around Goodison Park and a top-four finish hasn’t been ruled out.
When asked whether his side can finish above their upcoming opponents at the end of the season, Pardew remained realistic as he highlighted a key factor in Everton’s favour.
“My squad has some great qualities. But they have a slight mileage over us in terms of experience,” the former Newcastle United manager explained, as reported by the Mirror.
“They have been in and around at the tough end times of the season when trophies and titles are won.
"We had a great run at the back end of last season and if we can mirror that this time that will be great.”
One of the keys to Palace’s success this season has been how well they performed in the summer transfer market, signing Yohan Cabaye and Bakary Sako while keeping hold of star man Yannick Bolasie.
Away victories over Liverpool and Chelsea suggest that Palace boast plenty of quality, but their lack of experience in fighting for top-half finishes could hinder them somewhat later in the season.
Everton are on a real high heading in to the encounter having reached the League Cup semi-finals, and their previous two matches at Goodison Park have seen them win 4-0 and 6-2.
Roberto Martinez’s side’s current position of 11th doesn’t really reflect the quality available to the Toffees, and a finish in the European spots is definitely within their capabilities.