With the international break now finished, the Premier League finally returns this weekend as Everton face Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.
Everton have been buoyed by successive league wins over Fulham and Leicester and come into Sunday’s fixture in good form. In contrast, Crystal Palace have endured another difficult start to the season, and are in dire need of a win this weekend.
Roy Hodgson has seen his Palace side score just five league goals so far, the second lowest in the Premier League.
|When?||Sunday 21 October @ 4.00pm (BST)|
|How Can I Watch It?||Sky Sports Main Event|
Wilfried Zaha vs. Jonjoe Kenny
It’s hard to find a right back who has come out on top against Zaha in the Premier League in years, with the Ivory Coast international's combination of trickery and deadly finishing proving almost impossible to handle.
A prime example of his attacking flair came in the 1-0 win at Huddersfield, with Zaha scoring the only goal of the game - curling in an unstoppable strike after a mazy run.
Jonjoe Kenny, however, may fancy his chances against the Ivorian this weekend, having made a promising start to his Everton career. Just 21 years of age, the youth product first broke into the first team during the 2017/18 season and has starting six games in all competitions this term.
Part of the Under-20 World Cup winning squad in 2017, Kenny was described by Everton’s academy coach Paul Tait as ‘like a 40-year-old in a teenager’s body’.
Currently in the team due to Seamus Coleman's injury problems, this could be Kenny’s best chance to stake his claim for a regular spot.
Everton have been boosted by the return to form of key players, including Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Richarlison, who impressed before his three match suspension in August, is the Blues joint top goal scorer with four goals this season - having made his £50m move from Watford in the summer.
Sigurdsson scored his 50th Premier League goal against Leicester last time out and has featured in every league game so far this season.
Marco Silva’s side currently sit 11th, and are looking to make it three consecutive league wins for the first time since January 2017, when they finished seventh in the 2016-17 season under Ronald Koeman.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace sit 14th in the Premier League with just two wins from eight games.
Despite Palace’s torrid home form, six of their seven points have come away from home, with their last win coming at Huddersfield Town in mid-September.
Astonishingly, this has also seen all five of the Eagles league goals scored away, with Zaha leading the club’s goal scoring charts with three so far.
Marco Silva has been boosted by the fitness of Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes, who both came through unscathed in a recent behind closed doors game.
Both players are yet to make appearances for their new club following summer moves from Barcelona, but could feature against Palace.
Roy Hodgson has been dealt a double injury blow ahead of the game, with striker Christian Benteke set to be out until the new year, while Zaha could miss out after his withdrawal from international action with Ivory Coast this week due to a groin injury.
Zaha has been instrumental for Hodgson’s side, netting 11 goals in his last 36 appearances as of 6 October, more than any other player in that time.
Everton (4-2-3-1) Pickford, Digne, Zouma, Keane, Kenny, Davies, Gueye, Walcott, Bernard, Sigurdsson, Richarlison
Crystal Palace (4-4-2) Hennessey, Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sahko, Van Aanholt, Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur, Schlupp, Ayew, Zaha
In recent weeks, Everton have proved doubters wrong and with key players hitting form, they should have enough to overcome Palace.
Uncertainty over whether Zaha will feature makes this fixture difficult to predict. Should the Ivorian miss out, Hodgson’s side could find it hard to get a goal, let alone a positive result.
It could be a nervy affair, but Everton will come out on top.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Crystal Palace