Everton and Crystal Palace will faceoff in their second-leg FA Cup third-round tie on Wednesday. In the first match, the 10-man Toffees battled to a goalless draw at Selhurst Park. The winners will face either Luton Town or Bolton Wanderers later this month.
Preview (Everton vs. Crystal Palace)
During Everton and Palace’s cup match on January 4, three Toffees players watched in complete confusion as Chris Kavanagh analyzed a challenge from Dominic Calvert-Lewin on Nathaniel Clyne. The striker went in high but seemed to escape doing major damage to his opponent. Even so, Kavanagh dutifully saw it appropriate to show a red card. It set the stage for that 0-0 match in the English capital’s headlines. However, the Eagles were unable to capitalize on having an extra man on the field.
Although Everton has since been successful in their appeal against Calvert-Lewin’s dismissal. It adds more fuel to the ever-growing controversy surrounding VAR. Sean Dyche’s team was incorrectly called for a technical error. On the Goodison field, Alex Moreno and Abdoulaye Doucoure both had strikes disallowed for offside. The former’s took longer to review. Although that point ended Everton’s Premier League losing streak of three games. It is now six losses in a row for Dyche and company.
Palace has lost four games on the road without a victory, so confidence could be severely damaged if they lose in the third round of the FA Cup for the fourth time in five seasons. However, in the 2016–17 season, they defeated Bolton Wanderers 2-1 in the third round of the FA Cup. The men in blue, however, have the better of history. They have won their two previous FA Cup replays against Palace, which took place in 1907 and 1972, respectively. Since an exciting 3-2 loss in 2014, they have gone eight games without a loss at Goodison Park.
Whilst being carted off the field against Crystal Palace due to what appeared to be a major ankle injury, Dwight McNeil surprised everyone by making the bench on Sunday and even making a brief appearance for 30 minutes against Aston Villa. However, Idrissa Gueye is now serving for the Africa Cup of Nations, and Dele Alli (groin) and Ashley Young (knock) will need to stay in the medical bay for a few more weeks. Given the quick turnaround, the healthy McNeil should be considered for a start, which should also increase Andre Gomes’ and Beto’s chances of getting some crucial minutes. Meanwhile, Joao Virginia should take over for Jordan Pickford in between the sticks.
Hodgson will probably work with the same group of players from their stalemate at Selhurst Park this weekend, as Palace have no Premier League commitments to consider. Rob Holding (ankle) and Sam Johnstone (calf) should be close to making their comebacks. Cheick Doucoure (ankle), Joel Ward (thigh), and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (thigh) are also still out. Matheus Franca made his first Palace start against Everton in the first meeting thanks to Jordan Ayew’s absence for the Africa Cup of Nations, although Hodgson acknowledged that the 19-year-old would not have been happy with his 71-minute performance.
Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace
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