Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton take on Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace as the Premier League’s oldest managers meet in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
Everton welcome a Palace side in dire form, picking up just four points out of a possible eighteen. The Toffees however are a side rejuvenated after the arrival of Ancelotti. The three-time Champions League winner has very much had the desired effect since he was appointed.
50% of Everton’s entire points total this campaign have been acquired since the Italian took over.
Ancelotti has tasted league defeat just once since his first game in charge on Boxing Day, a 2-1 defeat to reigning champions Manchester City on New Year’s Day.
Everton’s last league outing ended in dramatic fashion. Finding themselves 2-0 down away at Watford as the board went up for first half added time, they went in at the break level courtesy of a Yerry Mina brace.
The drama did not end there, as the Toffee’s completed the comeback in second-half injury time. Moise Kean’s scuffed effort fell at the feet of Theo Walcott who slotted beyond Ben Foster to ensure the three points went back to Goodison.
Palace however, come into the tie off the back of two consecutive defeats, the most recent coming at home to Sheffield United.
The Eagles will be thankful Joel Ward’s second yellow was overturned by the VAR last time out meaning he is eligible for selection.
Regardless of their recent struggles, Roy Hodgson is a popular man at Selhurst Park. He has added some much needed stability to the club, and are only one point away from the top half. He has also had to deal with the added pressure of the ‘will he-won’t he go’ saga surrounding Wilfried Zaha, who was actually linked with a move to Everton late on in the summer.
Barrels of goals may not be on the cards, the last two meetings between these sides have ended 0-0.
The hosts are without Fabian Delph after he picked up a second yellow against Watford last weekend.
Andre Gomes and Jean-Phillipe Gbamin are the Toffees only absentees.
Palace will be without on-loan striker Cenk Tosun due to the fact he is ineligible against his parent side.
Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke and Patrick Van Aanholt all returned last week against Sheffield United after lengthy spells on the sideline and are available for selection.