Sunday September 21st, 2014. Kick off 4pm. Goodison Park, Merseyside.
Crystal Palace travel to Everton on Sunday as the Eagles continue to search for their first win under Neil Warnock, after a goalless draw at home to Sean Dyche's Burnley side last weekend. After an entertaining 3-2 victory last season at Goodison Park, Palace will be looking for three points and a repeat performance to match.
The South Londoners face Everton on the back of a 0-0 draw against Burnley last week where a late minute penalty save from Julian Speroni prevented the Clarets from snatching all three points.
Everton come into the game full of confidence after an impressive win over Wolfsburg during the week.
Roberto Martinez will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last season’s fixture where Palace ran out 3-2 winners at Goodison Park which saw them reach the magical 40 point mark.
Eagles duo Joe Ledley and Wilfried Zaha suffered knocks against Burnley last week but both will hope to be fit on Sunday.
It is expected this game will come too soon for striker Marouane Chamakh who is still recovering from a hamstring injury, although the Morrocon may be included in the travelling squad.
Brede Hangeland did not travel to Merseyside with the squad and looks set to miss out completely, after being spotted watching former club Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
Samuel Eto’o, Leighton Baines and Sylvain Distin could all feature for Everton on Sunday.
Eye on the opposition
by Jack Pierce
Our visits to Goodison Park and the computer that organises as and when fixtures take place obviously don't see eye to eye. Last year, we visited the North West on not one but twoWednesday nights (high winds and all that) and this time, as a result of Everton's European commitments, we have to head up to Merseyside on aSunday.
It's a tough life being a Palace fan but we do it anyway.
Fresh from their first win of the season at The Hawthorns last Saturday, The Toffees will be expecting to maintain winning form against Palaceon Sunday and climb the table to where they want to be - the top four.
Despite 'missing out' on fourth place and the holy grail of Champions League football last season, Everton had a fantastic 2013/14. Having lost their stalwart manager to Manchester United, there were worries that Everton would struggle to find the consistency that became the hallmark of David Moyes' time on Merseyside.
Enter Roberto Martinez.
Having been relegated with Wigan, some were surprised when the Spaniard managed to land himself such a high profile job. However, despite the relegation, Martinez was highly rated and Bill Kenwright quickly snapped him up when it became clear that a deal could be done with Wigan and their chairman, Dave Whelan.
Martinez' first season in charge couldn't have gone much better. His signings all paid off (perhaps bar the injured Arouna Kone) and the style he wanted his new side to adopt was accepted by the Everton squad almost instantaneously. His use of the loan market was inspired; Messrs Barry, Delofeu and Lukaku all played a large role throughout the season. The fact that Everton were able to turn Barry's and Lukaku's time at Goodison into permanent deals suggests just how vital they were to Martinez tactically.
Bill Kenwright allowed Martinez quite a healthy transfer budget during the summer, particularly as Everton have a very small net spend over the past five or six seasons. The deal to bring Lukaku to Goodison permanently almost doubled their transfer record but such backing of the manager is a sign of how highly regarded Martinez is by his chairman.
Lukaku was joined at the club by Muhammed Besic, a very highly rated Bosnian midfielder. Although his mistake against Chelsea might rank as one of the worst first touches in Premier League history; much is expected of the youngster and it's thought that he will prove a very shrewd acquisition.
Contract extensions might not often be greeted with great applause from a club's fans but having tied Seamus Coleman, John Stones and Ross Barkley to long term deals as well as hoping to do the same with James McCarthy, Everton have really backed Martinez' vision for the club. The Spaniard himself has signed a long term deal in recent months.
Everton's future on the pitch looks fantastic and with the possibility of a new stadium in the not too distant future, their financial clout might also be aided significantly. The Toffees are paupers in comparison to their more heavily financed rivals for a top four place but having gone so close last season, Martinez and his team will be determined to finish in that top four group come the end of May.
If that is to be the case, they could probably do without our lot turning up and taking three points away with us again, couldn't they?
Knowing Me Knowing You
Blast from the Past
It is going to be another tough afternoon for Neil Warnock's men. Palace will be desperate to get that first win on the board and will hope Everton are feeling a little jaded from their European exploits.
Everton though are on a high after two wins this week and the fans will be expecting the same again as they look to avenge last season's defeat. But Palace have a habit of causing surprises and if they can get a draw that would be a fantastic result.
Everton 1 - 1 Palace