Crystal Palace v Everton preview: Christian Benteke back in training
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 18/11/17 2:34pm
Crystal Palace and Everton will battle for a precious three points to get their season moving in the right direction on Saturday.
Palace go into the game bottom of the Premier League and six points from safety, after becoming the first club in any division to lose the opening seven games of an English league season without scoring.
However, Palace are unbeaten in their last two home games - beating Chelsea 2-1 and drawing 2-2 against West Ham.
Everton are in the midst of their worst start to a season since 2005, having failed to win in 13 Premier League away games since a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace in January.
Christian Benteke could return for his first game in seven weeks for Palace, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek looks likely to miss out after picking up a back injury with England during the week.
Patrick van Aanholt is absent with a hamstring injury, and knocks mean Jordon Mutch and Lee Chung-yong will again miss out.
Everton have midfielder Tom Davies and full-back Cuco Martina available again after injury.
Davies has recovered from the minor knock that led to his withdrawal from England's Under-21s squad last week, while Martina is ready to be involved again after suffering concussion and neck pain during the 3-0 Europa League loss in Lyon on November 2.
Caretaker boss David Unsworth has said Morgan Schneiderlin and Kevin Mirallas, who were both left out of the matchday 18 for Everton's last fixture, the 3-2 league win over Watford, are available for selection this time around.
- Only one of Crystal Palace's five Premier League wins against Everton has come at Selhurst Park, a 1-0 victory in October 1994 thanks to an Andy Preece strike.
- Everton have kept a clean sheet in their last four Premier League away games against Palace, their joint-longest such run against a team (also four away to Sunderland between 2002 and 2009).
- If Crystal Palace lose, they'll equal the record for fewest points after 12 games in a Premier League season (4), currently held by Everton in 1994-95 and Queens Park Rangers in 2012-13.
- The Toffees haven't kept a Premier League clean sheet since the opening day of the season against Stoke - only West Ham (23) have conceded more goals than the Merseysiders this term (22).
- However, they're without a win in 13 Premier League away games - only once have they had a longer such run in the competition (19 games, ending December 1997).
- Excluding own goals, Crystal Palace have had just two different goalscorers so far this season - the joint-fewest of any side 11 games into a Premier League season (Man City 95-96, Charlton 06-07, Sunderland 10-11 and Aston Villa 14-15).
Paul Merson's prediction
Big game. I think Everton have just got to make sure they do not lose, it is as simple as that. I think if they can come away and not lose, they will be alright.
But I think Palace have to win this football match as it will be another game gone where they have not won. They played well at Tottenham, but that is no good as they need points.
There is no point us all sitting here saying how well they played and they got no points. I think they would rather play shockingly on Saturday and win. But it is another of those games where I am finding it hard to pick a winner, so I will go for a draw as I do not think there will be a lot in it.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 9/2)
Everton are 19/10 underdogs to beat bottom side Crystal Palace this weekend, with Sky Bet pricing a home win at 7/5 and a draw at 23/10. Christian Benteke is 9/2 to open the scoring for Palace, with Wayne Rooney considered the visitors' main threat at 11/2 to net first.
Crystal Palace vs Everton is included in this weekend's Super 6 round, with £250,000 up for grabs again. Enter your predictions for free here.