Lampard starts Iwobi as Everton continue relegation battle against Zaha's Crystal Palace

Everton and Nigeria player Alex Iwobi.Getty.

Alex Iwobi has been named in Everton’s starting XI for Thursday’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace.

Still hurt by their 3-2 home defeat to Brentford last time out, the Toffees welcome the Eagles to Goodison Park as they continue their battle against relegation.

Towards securing all points at stake, Frank Lampard has named Iwobi in his lineup against the visiting side who boasts several African stars in their ranks.

In a 3-4-2-1 formation, the Nigeria international will hold sway in the middle alongside Mali international Abdoulaye Doucoure, Andre Gomes, and Vitaliy Mykolenko. 

Everton have only lost one of their last 14 Premier League games against Crystal Palace (W6 D7), though it did come in the reverse fixture in December this season.

Also, the hosts have won just 25% of their English top-flight outings on Thursdays, their lowest win rate on a single day of the week. However, the Toffees are unbeaten in their last seven such games (W3 D4) since a 2-0 loss at Hull in January 2015.

On the other side, manager Patrick Vieira has named Jeffrey Schlupp, Jordan Ayew, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Eberechi Eze, and Wilfried Zaha in his line-up.

Whereas, Senegal international Cheikhou Kouyate will be hoping to start from the bench.

To their credit, the Selhurst Park giants are unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions. 

Crystal Palace have beaten Everton twice this season, once in the Premier League and once in the FA Cup. As a top-flight side, the Eagles have only twice before beaten a side three teams in the same campaign – Charlton Athletic in 1989-90, and Stoke City in 2015-16.

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It is worthy to note that seven of Palace’s Premier League goals this season have been scored by substitutes, their highest ever such tally in a single campaign. 

Odsonne Edouard, Schlupp and Nigeria prospect Michael Olise have netted two each for the Eagles this term, with only Dwight Gayle in 2013-14 (4) ever netting more from the bench for them in a single Premier League campaign.

Victory for Lampard’s men would guarantee their safety in the English top-flight before heading to Emirates Stadium for their last game of the season versus Arsenal.