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Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Premier League: Crystal Palace vs Everton; “He has my total confidence”

Everton will be travelling to Selhurst Park on Saturday to face Crystal Palace for a top of the table game. Both sides have had perfect starts in the league and Everton have also won both of their League Cup ties. Although, their midweek game put the spotlight on goalkeeper Jordan Pickford yet again. 

Manager Carlo Ancelotti has said that Pickford “has my total confidence” but the fans cannot agree with that statement. The England number one started the season in good form keeping a clean sheet against Tottenham and then before that putting in decent displays for England keeping another two clean sheets. 

He conceded two against West Brom which realistically he should not be blamed for, especially the second one. But then came his performance against Fleetwood Town in the Carabao Cup. It was a surprise that he started in the first place and the second half had just began with Everton strolling with a 2-0 lead. 

Then, for some reason the former Sunderland man decided to dwell on the ball for an unnecessary amount of time until he was pressed and lost it for Fleetwood to get an easy goal back. Then the second goal for Fleetwood was arguably even worse. An overhead kick that was straight at him and he flapped at which meant the ball found its way into the back of the net. The worries fans had before the start of the season have therefore returned. 

However, he should start again on the weekend as Everton have not got a keeper to put pressure on Pickford which may be part of the problem. Sergio Romero has been linked from Manchester United, but that deal has not got going just yet so it remains to be seen whether Pickford will have the Everton keeper jersey all season long. 

In terms of injuries Everton have a fully fit squad apart from again Jarrad Branthwaite and Mason Holgate meaning that they will be missing for a third game in a row. Also, Ancelotti revealed that Calvert-Lewin suffered a knock against Fleetwood Town but will still be available to face The Eagles. Fabian Delph who started in midweek will not travel with the squad as Ancelotti said: “I want to give him more training sessions to be ready for the Premier League.” 

Injuries at centre back has stepped up the pursuit in a new defender and in the press conference The Italian said: “We are looking for a centre-back.  If there is an opportunity, then we are ready to catch.” 

Consequently, it is now public knowledge to clubs that Everton are in need of a defensive recruitment whether that works for or against The Toffees. A deal for Chelsea centre back Fikayo Tomori seems to have stalled as a deal was reportedly done two weeks ago but nothing has developed since then. 

Having made changes in midweek against Fleetwood Town it is expected that Ancelotti will go back to his strongest team which will mean restoring the terrific trio in midfield. Allan, Doucoure and Rodriguez will be wanting to carry on their impressive form, but Bernard will have given Ancelotti food for though after his display in the League Cup. 

Niels Nkounkou will have also done the same thing as he was up and down the left wing putting in the performance of his life. His attacking threat was constant and his defensive work was consistent, it’s unfortunate that in front of him in the pecking order is Lucas Digne who is one of the best left backs in the division. 

It will be a tough game as Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Place have dismantled Southampton and Manchester United on the bounce. Everton transfer target Wilf Zaha has been on fine form scoring three in two and will be trying to convince the hierarchy at Everton to splash the cash for him by destroying them on Saturday so Coleman will have to be at his best on Saturday. 

If both managers go all out the game has the potential to be a cracker but due to the pairs conservative styles of play it could quite easily be 0-0. Everton have scored the most goals in all competitions so far this season though so maybe Ancelotti is changing that style. 

Crystal Palace against Everton, a top of the table clash who would have thought it and remember the match is on Amazon prime so don’t be panicking at three o’clock when you cannot find it on your TV. 

READ MORE: Everton partner Cazoo Pledges Up To £50,000 Support For Everton in the Community

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