Everton vs Crystal Palace preview: Toffees fight for survival with every last breath
(Photo by Tony McArdle - Everton FC / Getty Images)

Since their inception in 1887, Everton Football Club's fans have only had to endure the pain of relegation on two occasions. First in 1930 and most recently in the early 1950s.

If the Toffees wish to ply their trade in the Premier League next season and continue their record of being an unwavering top-flight asset, then Frank Lampard's team must dig as deep as they can and demonstrate some of that famous Merseyside resolve.

With Crystal Palace next on the agenda, a win is vital, especially ahead of a tough trip down south to face top four-chasing Arsenal on the last day of the season.

Survival for 'The People's Club' will mean so much for the blue side of Liverpool, who have admittedly shown signs of a resurgence over their last four games. The flares have been lit, blue smoke has filled the air, and surely it can only signal one thing - Premier League survival.

The fans have always been behind the club, coming together to impel their side to important victories against Chelsea, Leicester City, and Manchester United. The fans believe, and with the team's recent performances, it suggests the squad do too. 

But safety is not secured yet. And so that lion-hearted Mersey spirit is needed one last time to ensure Premier League football is played at Goodison Park next season.

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Although the stakes are much higher for Everton on Thursday night, it won't stop Palace from being a difficult test on the penultimate day of the season. 

The Eagles will be looking to complete a hat-trick of victories against their opponents in midweek, with triumphs in the Premier League and FA Cup quarter-final already stored away in their memories. 

Before the Patrick Vieira epoch, though, Crystal Palace had failed to overcome The Toffees since 2014, with six defeats and seven draws in that time paving the way for fans of the club to dread the match in the fixture list. 

Undoubtedly, the French manager will already have his lenses set on success in the forthcoming season, but with his ethos of always committing 100% to every fixture in his path, Everton's final fight for survival will begin against a heavy-handed opponent. 

  • Team news

Last time out, Everton failed miserably in securing survival when they ran out 3-2 losers at the Brentford Community Stadium. Among the sparks that flew before, during, and after the game, Jarrad Branthwaite and Solomon Rondon picked up red cards that will see them sit out against Palace.

Nathan Patterson, Andros Townsend, Fabian Delph, and Yerry Mina look set to stay in the infirmary for Thursday, too, but positive news comes in the form of an expected return to the foray for Donny Van De Beek and Ben Godfrey.

Also pushing for starts in a crunch fixture, Michael Keane, Allan, and Tom Davies will all be eager to get involved at Goodison Park.

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Meanwhile, Patrick Vieira will have to manage the remainder of the season without his lynchpin Michael Olise, who joins Nathan Ferguson on the club's long-term absentee list.

Without a reason to risk player's fitness at this stage of the season, James McArhurt is also likely to miss out on the trip to Merseyside, while Luka Milivojevic will likely take the armband as he looks set to move away from south London in the summer.

Jeffrey Schlupp provided food for thought for his French manager after a dogged display against Aston Villa may earn him a starting spot against Everton, with Eberechi Eze dropping to the bench.

Despite no suggestion that the Senegalese will miss out on the fixture, Cheikhou Kouyate is set to be spoken to by the Palace hierarchy in what Vieira explained as an 'in-house conversation' after the midfielder appeared to show support for Idrissa Gueye's refusal to play for Paris Saint-Germain while they sported the LGBTQ+ rainbow colours.

  • How to watch

The fixture is not set to be broadcasted in the UK, with the kickoff time at 19:45 PM (GMT). 

If it is live anaylsis and minute by minute updates you are after, VAVEL UK is your best bet. 

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