Crystal Palace v Everton Team News
Crystal Palace and Everton could both have plenty of new recruits on show when they kick-off their Premier League campaigns on Saturday.
Palace enjoyed a strong end to 2018-19, winning three of their last four games, to finish well clear of the drop zone. Their main concern over the summer was trying to keep hold of winger Wilfried Zaha, and the good news is he is staying at Selhurst Park, despite interest from Arsenal and Everton. Keeping hold of the Ivory Coast international was almost as good as making a new signing for Roy Hodgson, even if he now has to reintegrate a frustrated player back into his plans as soon as possible.
Hodgson did make move in the market to strengthen with Stephen Henderson, Jordan Ayew, Gary Cahill and James McCarthy all agreeing permanent moves to Palace, while Victor Camarasa signed on loan from Real Betis.
Despite the excitement surrounding Zaha’s stay, he may sit it out against Toffees due to a lack of match fitness and the recent speculation affecting his mood.
Zaha returned to pre-season later than most of his teammates after featuring at the Africa Cup of Nations but Cahill, Camarasa and McCarthy are all pushing for a berth in the starting XI. Hodgson confirmed the three players involved in the continental competition, Zaha, Ayew and Cheikhou Kouyate should theoretically be available but it’s not clear what part they will play. Christian Benteke, meanwhile, missed a large chunk of last season through injury but he is available to lead to the line.
Hodgson’s only certain absentees are defenders Mamdou Sakho, Jeff Schlupp and James Tomkins, with the latter still nursing a groin issue.
🗣 Roy: "All three players who featured at AFCON will be available for selection."
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) August 9, 2019
Everton spent big over the summer to boost their chances of challenging for a place in Europe. Marco Silva could come under serious pressure if they fail to make a positive start to 2019-20, though, and he will hope to hit the ground running like last term when they were unbeaten in their opening four engagements. Form on the road was a big problem for the Merseyside outfit last season, winning just five times, so victory on the opening day will offer confidence.
Silva made seven permanent signings and completed one loan deal before Thursday’s deadline and some of them are likely to feature. Moise Kean, Alex Iwobi and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are in contention but Fabian Delph is set to miss out with a thigh problem. Veteran defender Leighton Baines is a doubt and Silva is expected to stick with Lucas Digne at left-back.
The Toffees are unbeaten in nine meetings with Palace but they have only managed to pick up two victories at Selhurst Park during that period, while last season’s clash in south London finished goalless.