Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Stubbs (Watson 26′), Weir, Naysmith (Vaughan 74′), Osman, Arteta, Cahill, Kilbane, Ferguson, Bent (Carsley 67′).
Subs Not Used: Wright, McFadden.
Crystal Palace: Kiraly, Leigertwood, Hall, Powell, Granville, Riihilahti (Watson 57′), Routledge, Hughes, Soares, Lakis (Torghelle 57′), Johnson.
Subs Not Used: Speroni, Hudson, Borrowdale.
In this week’s classic match we have a look back to Everton’s 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace at Goodison. This, on the whole, was a season that was pretty good to the blues. 4th place in the Champions League and a finish above Liverpool will always do just fine. Meanwhile, the Premiership was busy tossing Crystal Palace on route to an 18th place finish and relegation. The first half of the game on April 10 was a blistering one for Everton, as Arteta took a free kick inside 10 minutes and curled it beautifully passed the defensive wall and into the corner for 1-0. However, Crystal Palace would look the “more threatening” of the 2 sides in the first half, missing a couple golden opportunities in attack, thwarted due to the heroics of Alan Stubbs and THE Tony Hibbert. Everton also missed chances in front of goal, as a previously injured Duncan Ferguson returned for the first time in 4 months, and the legend himself showed some rough. Halftime, 1-0.
The second half was a brilliant one for Everton, and more specifically Tim Cahill. Darren Bent for Palace would slice a clearance and Cahill would volley home a thunderous right footed effort making it 2-0. Then not long after in the 54th minute, Cahill would score again, heading home a beautifully worked Kilbane cross. Up 3-0 in the late stages of the game, David Moyes would sub on James Vaughan. At 16 years of age, he became the youngest player in post-war history for Everton football club. On top of this Vaughan would even poke home a goal, scoring a fourth for Everton, putting them in fourth. Everton rode high into the Champions League, and Palace’s misery was only exemplified.
Everton’s game against Palace on Sunday to me feels like it provides a huge opportunity for the blues to make a statement. Having won 2 games on the bounce, with a Palace team coming to town with an either injured or not fully fit Wilf Zaha, Everton should fully looking to be winning this game. This season has seen the blues give away several wins, and a dominant performance against the Eagle’s in primetime Sunday is exactly what the doctor ordered. Silva should name in unchanged side, hopefully being able to work the likes of Mina and Gomes in from off the bench, adding even more star power to a team that seems like it is bursting at the seams with talent. An exciting problem that Everton hasn’t had in a while. If there is European parties next season, Everton win tomorrow. This is a statement game, to put the blues on a 3 game winning streak before the run in with Manchester United. Richarlison and Walcott score, and Keane finally bags a header off a teasing set piece from Gylfi Siggurdson.
Prediction: Everton 3-0 Palace