Everton vs Crystal Palace Preview: Both sides have started the season well but who will come out on top at Goodison Park?

The Toffees host in-form Palace having lost their first game of the campaign last weekend

Everton vs Crystal Palace Preview: Both sides have started the season well but who will come out on top at Goodison Park?
Bolasie faces his former side tonight | Photo: Getty images / Chris Brunskill

Crystal Palace travel to Everton on Thursday night looking to continue their four-game unbeaten run, which includes three consecutive wins.

The recent form is a stark contrast for Alan Pardew’s side who – revitalised by the signing of Christian Benteke – were winless in 14 league games last season.

Everton have also started the season well, although their 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth last season was their first of the campaign.

Bolasie faces former side

The game will mark the first time Yannick Bolasie has faced his former side since his £22 million summer move. Bolasie became a household name while playing for the South London club, signing for an initial mere five-figure-fee from Bristol City in the summer of 2012 and going on to become one of the club’s most influential players as they won promotion the following year and have since taken to the Premier League like the proverbial duck to water.

The DR Congo international is set to start for Ronald Koeman’s side and it will be interesting to see how either Palace full backs deals with their former team-mate.

Head-to-head

Palace have had the better of the Toffees since their promotion in 2013. The Eagles have won two of the previous six meetings with Everton winning just once – a 1-0 win at Selhurst Park in January 2015 which marked Pardew’s first defeat as Palace boss.

The South Londoners marked their first two visits to Goodison Park since promotion with consecutive 3-2 wins, although their last visit ended in a 1-1 draw. Scott Dann opened the scoring but Romelu Lukaku equalised late on. The return game ended in a 0-0 draw.

Overall, Everton edge Palace in the 43 competitive meetings since 1907; winning 17. Palace have won 13, with the scores also being level on 13 occasions.

One of those games includes the very last ZDS Cup final in 1991, which Palace won 4-1 in the same season that they finished third in the top-flight.

Palace have had the better of the Toffees at Goodison Park in recent years | Photo: Getty images / Chris Brunskill
Palace have had the better of the Toffees at Goodison Park in recent years | Photo: Getty images / Chris Brunskill

Team news

Lukaku was originally a doubt for the hosts but is likely to recover from a toe problem in time to start at Goodison Park. Leighton Baines is expected to miss the game having failed to recover from a hamstring problem while James McCarthy – a Palace summer transfer target – is still sidelined.

Wilfried Zaha is expected to return to the side following his absence from the Eagles’ remarkable comeback against Sunderland last weekend. Palace will be without Dann, who misses the game with a hamstring injury he suffered during his side’s English Football League Cup defeat to Southampton.

Jonathan Benteke, brother of Christian, is expected to be out for up to four months with a knee injury which Palace expect will require surgery.

Predicted line-ups

Everton: Stekelenburg; Coleman, Jagielka, Williams, Funes Mori; Gueye, Barry; Mirallas, Barkley, Bolasie; Lukaku.

Crystal Palace: Mandanda; Ward, Tomkins, Delaney, Kelly; Cabaye, McArthur; Zaha, Puncheon, Townsend; Benteke.