It is too early to claim a loss of form, but the Blues go into Wednesday nights game with Crystal Palace in desperate need for three points to get the chase for Champions League football back on track. For the first time this season, one of two questions have been asked of Roberto Martinez, particularly his decision to sell Nikica Jelavic when Everton were desperately short of a forward. However, with Everton still riding relatively high in the table and with an FA Cup fifth round tie at the weekend it is certainly not doom and gloom at Goodison Park.
The last time Everton played Crystal Palace at Goodison Park the Blues secured a comfortable 4-0 win as goals from Mikel Arteta, two from Tim Cahill and a first ever goal for James Vaughan, pushed David Moyes’ Everton within touching distance of securing fourth spot. That position was eventually secured and Roberto Martinez will be hoping that a win over Palace will give his side a much-needed boost and get the season back on track.
Earlier in the season the teams played out a disappointing 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park with Everton unable to find a breakthrough despite dominating possession. The Blues will certainly need to find a cutting edge, with the team also failing to score in two of the last three matches.
Crystal Palace have completed a major transformation during the season, with new manager Tony Pulis overseeing a remarkable change of fortune. Palace have moved off the bottom and currently sit three points outside the relegation zone. If they were to beat Everton on Wednesday they could potentially move into the top half of the league table.
Pulis is perceived by many to have enjoyed a very successful transfer window and new signings Tom Ince and Joe Ledley, both who have been heavily linked with moves to Everton in the past, scored on their debuts in the 3-1 weekend win over West Brom.
Everton remain short of a fully fit striker, with Lukaku still a couple of weeks away from returning and Lacina Traore only fit enough to start from the bench. The Blues also have a number of player feeling their way back from injury, with Ross Barkley in particular looking a little short of the sharpness he showed earlier in the season.
Despite losing to Spurs, the starting line-up is likely to be largely unchanged, with Martinez hoping that home advantage will bring three points.
Possible Starting Team: Howard; Baines, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin; Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas; Osman, Pienaar; Naismith.
Since the formation of the Premier League Everton have played Palace 9 times, winning 5, drawing 1 and losing 3.
Everton have the second best defensive record in the Premier League this season with just 26 goals conceded.
Palace have the worst goal scoring record in the Premier League this season with just 18 goals scored.
Everton have won five, lost three and drawn two of their last ten Premier League matches.
Palace have won four, lost five and drawn one of their last ten Premier League matches.
The reverse fixture earlier this season at Selhurst Park ended 0-0.