Everton vs Crystal Palace
Venue: Goodison Park
Kick off: 4PM
Crystal Palace will have to win a first league game without Wilfried Zaha since September 2016 if they are to beat Everton, with the winger ruled out for a month with injury.
The Ivory Coast international, who has scored four goals this season, suffered a knee injury during last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle.
There were fears the Eagles could be without their talisman for the rest of the season, but manager Roy Hodgson said: “The good news is he’s a very quick healer.
“He and the medical staff are working very hard to get him back on the field as soon as possible.
“He won’t play at Everton on Saturday, and it may take a few weeks more than that. But we hope it won’t be as long as all that.”
Toffees boss Sam Allardyce said the club’s home form will be their route to a top-half finish this season – having picked up 23 of their 31 league points at Goodison Park.
Following their 5-1 humbling at Arsenal last weekend, Everton have won one of their last eight top-flight games – at home to Leicester on January 31 – but have only lost once on home soil since Allardyce took over on November 30, and that was against Manchester United on New Year’s Day.
“Our home form is very good,” he said. “Our home form is our best way of staying in the top half if we can and first of all avoiding the threat of relegation.
“Our home form has to be continued with Crystal Palace on Saturday like it was against Leicester. So, when you are looking at our away results, they are not so good. But our home form is pretty good at this point in time.”
Everton’s Leighton Baines will not recover from a long-term injury in time for the visit of Palace, but is back in training and could be fit to face Watford next week.
Also approaching comebacks are Maarten Stekelenburg (groin), who has also returned to the training pitch, and Ramiro Funes Mori, who continued his return from knee surgery with 45 minutes for the under-23s in midweek.
In addition to Zaha, goalkeeper Julian Speroni (knee) and defender Martin Kelly (hamstring) are also missing, joining Bakary Sako, Jeffrey Schlupp, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon and Connor Wickham on a lengthy injury list.
January signings Alexander Sorloth and Erdal Rakip will be in the squad.
Everton possible XI: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Jagielka, Mangala, Gueye, Walcott, Davies, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin.
Crystal Palace possible XI: Hennessey, Fosu-Mensah, Tomkins, Sakho, van Aanholt, Riedewald, Milivojevic, Townsend, Cabaye, McArthur, Benteke.