Farhad Moshiri and his Everton board backed Ronald Koeman to bring in an arsenal of summer signings that saw the club spend over £140 million in the transfer market. Despite spending so heavily, they have failed to score regularly and the side was once threatened by relegation.
Tipped by many to challenge the ‘top six’, the Toffees were expected to fight for a European spot this time. Currently, Everton are fighting a battle of rejuvenation after having been to hell and back in the early few months of the season. The club has in no way thrown any challenge to the top six in the first round of the Premier League.
However, as the fans and pundits stood to wait for Everton to disappear into the lower leagues, the board appointed Sam Allardyce as the new manager. Big Sam has a history of turning around fortunes for a club in crisis. He has lifted the blue team of Merseyside from a relegation threat to a respectable mid-table position.
Everton have now become a resilient team with a good defensive organization. Despite their mini-collapse in January that has seen them collect one point in 6 matches, they are still in a better position in the table than they were a few months back.
Goodison Park has changed from a depressing arena of uncertainty to a place of tentative hope. A few months back, Everton were the bogey side teams were craving to face. In the space of a few months, the scenario at Merseyside looks to be lifting. They are now preparing to face Crystal Palace and Allardyce will be hoping to claim the first win in over seven matches by putting out a solid display. Here is how his team is expected to line-up
Jordan Pickford will be expected in goal. The heart of the defence is likely to be marshalled by Eliaquim Mangala and Michael Keane with Mason Holgate on the bench once again.
The right-back position will be monitored again by Seamus Coleman with Cuco Martina at left back with Jonjoe Kenny on the bench.
A midfield base of Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye can be expected. The number 10 role is likely to go to Wayne Rooney. The left flank is likely to be operated by Gylfi Sigurðsson with the right wing occupied by new signing Theo Walcott who has been impressive so far.
Cenk Tosun is expected to lead the line for the Toffees.
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