The Eagles defeated Norwich City last time out thanks to Jason Puncheon’s strike midway through the second-half. The result ended a horrible run of league results that lasted almost five months.
The game against an out-of-form Everton side provides Palace with a great opportunity to extend their run of four points from two games and rebuild confidence going into this month’s FA Cup semi-final against Watford.
The two teams played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Goodison Park in December, although both sides had great opportunities to take all three points. Scott Dann gave Palace the lead before Romelu Lukaku finished from close range to score a late equaliser.
Overall, Everton have the edge in the head-to-head record, winning 17 of the 32 competitive meetings. The Eagles have 13 victories, including the Zenith Data Systems Cup final win in 1991.
Palace and Everton have endured mirroring seasons
Both sides were having very different seasons when they met in December; Palace found themselves in the Europa League positions while Everton lingered just outside. Since then, both have unexpectedly capitulated – none more so than Palace.
The Toffees have suffered due to the lack of form of their key players. Young defender John Stones has received heavy criticism for showing his inexperience by taking risks in the defensive third – which have often resulted in the opposition scoring. Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley have also failed to continue their form of previous seasons, while Lukaku appears set to leave having been one of his side’s only star performers.
Manager Roberto Martinez is also under serious pressure to turn his side’s form around. Everton have won just once in their last six games – the only victory coming against basement club Aston Villa. Four of the last six games have resulted in defeats against West Brom, Arsenal, Manchester United and West Ham – the latter in which the Toffees let a 2-0 lead slip to lose 3-2.
Palace’s season has seemingly run in parallel with Wednesday’s opponent's campaign; a successful start saw them rise to the higher regions of the divisions, but a disastrous spell after Christmas now sees them languished in the bottom half. Similar to his managerial counterpart, Alan Pardew finds himself under extreme pressure, but his cause was eased by the 1-0 win over Norwich.
The two sides could still meet once more before the end of the season due to their participation in the upcoming FA Cup semi-final stage. Palace face Watford hoping to reach their first final in the competition since 1990, while Everton are still unsure of their semi-final opponent as Manchester United still need to travel to West Ham to replay their quarter-final following the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
Pre-match manager comments
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Palace boss Pardew believes the win against the Canaries “eased the tension” around the club and admits that the teams below the Eagles will find it difficult to catch them if they beat Everton on Wednesday.
Pardew also offered an update on his contractual situation, saying that he would prefer to stay at the club, but he wants to make sure the club are still in the premier league – which he is confident will be the case.
Toffees boss Martinez has insisted his side must “look forward” rather than back at their recent run of form, but admits Everton must improve on their game management, which he states has not been good enough lately.
Pardew confirmed striker Emmanuel Adebayor will return to the squad having recovered from an injury which has kept him out of the last two games. The former Newcastle United manager also provided an update on James McArthur, who he states is recovering well and could return to the side for the game against Manchester United later in the month.
Martinez has a concern over defender Phil Jagielka, who he admits is likely to miss the game because of an injury. The Everton boss has also rated Tom Cleverley’s chances of playing as “50-50”, but says Barkley is likely to play having previously been a doubt after having to be replaced early in the recent draw at Watford.
Crystal Palace predicted line-up: Hennessey; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare; Cabaye, Jedinak; Zaha, Puncheon, Bolasie; Wickham.
Everton predicted line-up: Joel Robles; Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, McCarthy, Barry; Deulofeu, Barkley, Lennon; Lukaku.