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Premier League

  • April 17, 2014
  • • 02:45
  • • Goodison Park, Liverpool
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 39333
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Everton - Crystal Palace Preview: Toffees aim to maintain top-four charge

Everton - Crystal Palace Preview: Toffees aim to maintain top-four charge

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Roberto Martinez's men leapfrogged Arsenal with a 1-0 win away at Sunderland on Saturday and would qualify for the Champions League if they win their remaining games

Having finally got their hands on fourth place, Everton will be doing all they can to cling on to it against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Roberto Martinez's men leapfrogged Arsenal with a scrappy 1-0 Premier League win at Sunderland on Saturday and now face the task of keeping the north London club at bay for the remainder of the season.

Regardless of Arsenal's result against West Ham on Tuesday, three points would be enough for Everton to remain in the driving seat in the race for fourth.

Ultimate success in their quest would see Everton competing in the Champions League for the first time since the 2005-06 season and, on paper, Palace at home would appear a reasonably straightforward stepping stone on the way to achieving that aim.

EVERTON LATEST
11/10 Everton are 11/10 with Bet365 to finish in the top four
However, Tony Pulis's once relegation-threatened outfit have won their last three Premier League matches, beating Chelsea, Cardiff City and Aston Villa, and could yet finish in the top half - an unthinkable feat when the Welshman assumed the reins in December.

That record will give the Eagles hope and Martinez knows the importance of making the most of his side's three remaining home fixtures.

"We've got three games at home and at Goodison [Park] our form has been very good but we're going to be heavily tested," he told Sky Sports.

"You look at it on paper and Arsenal have got the best run-in but the good thing about football is nothing works as it should be on paper.

"We're excited that, at this stage of the season, we've got enough points to fight for that position and will try to take advantage of our home fixtures - that could be the difference of achieving it or not."

Palace should expect no charity from an Everton side hungry for European football this time around.

Phil Jagielka (hamstring) is nearing a return for the hosts but may not be quite ready in time for Wednesday's match, and trio Steven Pienaar, Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone (all knee), defender Bryan Oviedo (broken leg) and loanee Lacina Troare (hamstring) will miss out.

Palace have a near -fully fit squad, although Kagisho Dikgacoi was withdrawn early on at the weekend.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Everton

Crystal Palace

Wins
2
1
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Everton FC EVE
Everton FC Everton
Draw
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Crystal Palace FC Crystal Palace
56%
31%

Top 3 Predictions

Everton FC EVE
1 - 1
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Everton FC EVE
2 - 0
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Everton FC EVE
2 - 1
Crystal Palace FC CRY

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