Crystal Palace vs Everton preview: Eagles desperate for first three points under Allardyce
The two sides played out at 1-1 draw at Goodison Park earlier this season | Photo: Getting images / Tony McArdle - Everton FC

Crystal Palace vs Everton preview: Eagles desperate for first three points under Allardyce

Sam Allardyce finally earned his first win as Palace boss against Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup, but is still without a Premier League success as he closes in on his first month in charge at Selhurst Park

Sam Smith

Sam Allardyce is still without a league victory as Crystal Palace boss and faces another big test on Saturday against in-form Everton.

The Toffees thrashed Manchester City 4-0 last weekend and look to be free-scoring with key players finally finding form following a slow start to the season.

A first win

The Eagles earned their maiden victory of the Allardyce era in the FA Cup in midweek. A Christian Benteke brace cancelled out James Henry’s wonderful goal as the South Londoners overcame Bolton in the third round replay.

Yet Allardyce has struggled to rekindle the resurgence he struck while managing Sunderland last year. The former England boss saved the Black Cats from the brink of relegation and it was wins against the likes of Everton that kept the North-East side in the Premier League.

A defeat on Saturday could place Palace in the relegation zone if Hull City continue their good form under new boss Marco Silva, albeit the Tigers face an almost impossible task in defeating runaway, seemingly champions-elect, Chelsea.

After they face Everton, Palace play Bournemouth, Sunderland, Stoke City, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion. The run could spell their fate come May.

Koeman's blooding of youngsters helping to refresh squad

Everton boss Ronald Koeman has seemed willing to give first team experience to several youngsters and it is having a positive effect. 18-year-old midfielder Tom Davies was sensational against Man City, scoring the third goal having run the length of the pitch, played a one-two with Ross Barkley, before deftly lofting the ball over the on-rushing Claudio Bravo. It was a goal that striker Romelu Lukaku would certainly have been proud of to score himself, almost so much so that he tried to tap the ball over the line as it travelled in.

Koeman also added forward Ademola Lookman to his squad last week from Charlton Athletic, battling off interest from Palace. The youngster, like Davies, also netted against Pep Guardiola’s side, sliding home the fourth following John Stones’ error. Both Davies and Lookman could feature at Selhurst Park as their development continues to blossom. Mason Holgate’s performance in the back three also went -under-the-radar.

Team news

Palace have Scott Dann and James McArthur back after the pair missed the midweek game under precautionary circumstances. Youngster Sullay Kaikai could also come into the squad following an impressive full debut against Bolton, while Jeffrey Schlupp could start for the Eagles for the first time since joining from Leicester City last Friday. Jordon Mutch, Steve Mandanda, Jonathan Benteke, Pape Souare and Connor Wickham remain injured.

Everton are set to continue to use the 3-5-2 formation that has seen their turn in form. Morgan Schneiderlin could make his full debut following a brief cameo against Man City, although Leighton Baines is a doubt with a rib injury. Former Eagle Yannick Bolasie remains out with a long-term injury, along with Mo Besic and Dominic Calvert-Lewin