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Truly golden chance to put the Toffees in a stickier spot


WITH both Palace and Everton on 23 points, this has become a rather big clash at Selhurst Park tomorrow.

Few would have thought the Toffees would be in their current position after their impressive finish last season.

The Europa League may have had an effect on their domestic progress but, for Palace, it seems like an excellent time to play Roberto Martinez's side.

Not forgetting that the Eagles are unbeaten in their past six games in all competitions and go into the game with huge confidence under Alan Pardew.

After repeating last season's 3-2 win at Goodison Park in September, Palace will be buoyed further on their own patch.

Pardew certainly has a welcome selection headache. Julian Speroni is expected to return to the starting XI after being rested in the FA Cup at Southampton.

However, going forward, the manager has to decide whether to stick with Marouane Chamakh or bring back Dwight Gayle, who was also rested at St Mary's despite his two goals at Burnley the weekend before.

Of course, Yaya Sanogo may also make way, while Glenn Murray has come off the bench in the past two games, too.

Fraizer Campbell is also in the mix despite featuring on the wing last week, but Jason Puncheon is likely to come back in.

One man who looks certain to keep his place is Wilfried Zaha after some impressive displays lately, and if talk of a permanent move back before Monday's transfer deadline is true, he'll need to turn in another top performance.

Pardew will probably opt to keep the same backline of Joel Ward, Scott Dann, Damien Delaney and Martin Kelly, although Adrian Mariappa, who has come on from the bench in the past two games, is pushing for a start.

Despite the excellent form Palace are in, Dann is keeping his feet on the ground and just wants to collect another three points, whichever way they come.

"I think it's really about just taking each game at a time in the league and FA Cup at the moment," he said.

"We are going into every game wanting to win and confident to do so with the run we're on at the moment.

"We wanted to keep the momentum going at Southampton, winning three in a row, so now it gives us that more going into Everton.

"The league is our bread and butter but if you can go on a run in the cup then it's obviously nice.

"It doesn't matter who we play. Personally, and on a whole, we want to get the three points.

"Everton is a massive game, it's at our home and we'll be looking to come away with another win."

For the visitors, they have had a two-week break since a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion.

Tim Howard is still out for another month so Joel Robles will continue in goal.

Martinez is likely to stick with the same formation and strategy despite falling down the table, persisting with a 4-2-3-1 system, which will see Gareth Barry and Muhamed Besic in the holding midfield positions.

However, James McCarthy is back in contention after a hamstring injury and could come up against former Wigan Athletic and Hamilton Academical team-mate James McArthur.

McCarthy's absence has been felt, coinciding with Everton slipping downwards, according to statistics.

With the Europa League return in less than three weeks, the Toffees need to start picking up points in the Premier League before the extra competition takes a possible toll.

Let's just hope that is on hold until after tomorrow's game.

Truly golden chance to  put the  Toffees in a     stickier spot

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