By 90Min
November 17, 2017

January 21st 2017 ordinarily wouldn't be a date that any Evertonian would pay particular heed to.

It is just happens, however, that such an occasion has become a remarkably sore point for followers of Everton to become accustomed to.

Why? It's the last time that Toffees fans saw their team win a Premier League match away from home.

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Let that sink in for a moment. The last time. That Everton won. Away from home. In the league.

The Blues' home form helped secure a seventh-placed finish under previous boss Ronald Koeman last term, but it also masked just how poor the club were on their travels.

Not since Seamus Coleman rifled home an 87th-minute winner on that date have the Toffees departed a fellow top flight club's ground with all three points in tow - and for a side that, before the season started at least, had ambitions on breaking into the top four it's clearly not good enough.

Ironically, it is against Saturday's opponents and current bottom club Crystal Palace that Everton registered that rare commodity of an away victory and, as interim boss David Unsworth takes his charges to the capital, breaking that abject run on the road could be the key to finally getting Everton's campaign up and running.

The 3-2 come-from-behind triumph over Watford two weeks ago has provided a platform from which the Toffees can catapult themselves back up the standings, and achieving a win at Selhurst Park on Saturday would provide a massive fillip to all connected to the Merseysiders.

For the players, back-to-back wins would ensure confidence is flowing through their veins. For the fans, the chance to look up the league table for once this term. For Unsworth, an opportunity to truly stake his claim for the vacant permanent managerial seat in the Goodison Park dugout.

In a further act of pecularity, it was one of Unsworth's former rivals for the post in L4 - Sam Allardyce - who was in charge of Palace when Everton came to town to heap more misery on the relegation-threatened Eagles.

'Big Sam' is no longer in the running for the position but Unsworth is, and acquiring all three points against Palace would provide more evidence that he should be handed the job until the end of the season at least.

It'll take more than installing a new manager and an away win to truly turn Everton's season around, but make no mistake: the Blues have plenty riding on this fixture, much like Palace did last term, and need to capture that steely resolve from January to truly give themselves a lift.

Football is a funny old game. How baffing it would be if another away win over Palace kickstarted the Toffees' 2017/18 campaign.

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