Crystal Palace-Everton Preview

Carlo Ancelotti knows Everton have European qualification in their own hands, as he aims to discover a way for the Toffees to click on a consistent basis.

Everton face Crystal Palace on Monday, with Ancelotti's team embroiled in a race for the European spots – with fourth place not out of the equation.

However, they have lost their last two league games and exited the FA Cup with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City before the international break.

With James Rodriguez back fit, Ancelotti is hopeful Everton can strike a balance between attacking creativity and defensive solidity in the final 10 games of the campaign.

"It will be an exciting race, a lot of teams are involved," Ancelotti said. "We are convinced we can do well. Every game will be like a final because there are 10 games.

"The games we tried to have more quality up front, we lost balance, so we are working on this. We did well so far. If they ask us where we would like to be in the last 10 games of the season, we could answer we want to fight for European position. We are there, difficult games, important games, but the target is there. If we are consistent, brave, then I think we can reach the target."

Palace, meanwhile, are safely in mid-table on 37 points.

Roy Hodgson is out of contract at the end of the season but, when asked if a decision had been made on his future, the Eagles boss hit back.

"Every week I get the same question, every week I give the same answer and I will continue doing that until such time I feel there is an announcement to be made," Hodgson said. "I am not interested in having that discussion at the moment. When the time is right, we'll discuss it."

Everton – James Rodriguez

James missed the entirety of March due to a calf injury, but has been given full time to recover and is in line to return on Monday. The playmaker has created 31 chances for Everton this season, and the Toffees have struggled to craft opportunities without him in recent weeks.

Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha

Everton tried to sign Zaha in 2019, but the winger ultimately stayed at Selhurst Park. He is the type of player this current Everton team are missing, but he is Palace's star man and will be out to do the damage against his former suitors.

• Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored 14 Premier League goals this season, his best return in a single campaign in the competition. Six of his 14 goals have been headers, with Tim Cahill the last Everton player to score more headed goals in a single league campaign (7 in 2009-10).

• Palace have conceded a league-high 13 Premier League goals in the final 15 minutes of games this season, one more than they did in the whole of 2019-20.

• Five of Everton striker Richarlison's six Premier League goals this season have been the winning goal of the game. The only player to score more winning goals for the Toffees in a single Premier League campaign was Paul Rideout in 1994-95 (six).

• Everton have lost seven of their last 11 Premier League home games (W3 D1), having lost just one of their 15 previously (W7 D7). Their seven-home league defeats this season is their most in a single Premier League campaign since 2015-16 (8).

• Four of Palace's five Premier League wins against Everton have been at Goodison Park, with their most recent victory there coming in September 2014 (3-2).

Updated April 2, 2021

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