Crystal Palace vs Everton, Selhurst Park, Saturday 3pm

Smudge

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Absolutely enormous game for us. Palace won 4 in a row under Pardew, we've won 1 in 13 and have Liverpool and Chelsea coming next...lose this and fear a relegation battle.
 

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Tough game to regard as a must win to be honest. A relegation battle is possible I suppose, but I can't see Everton actually being relegated.
 

Smudge

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Tough game to regard as a must win to be honest. A relegation battle is possible I suppose, but I can't see Everton actually being relegated.
Thats our own fault for not beating West Brom last week, its just put more pressure on this one.

People keep saying they cant see us going down, but every Everton fan can. Injuries have decimated us, not enough signings in the summer and guaranteed to come out of this window weaker than we were at the start, the most out of form side in the League, still in Europe, and a horror run coming up in February. We are in an absolute rut, and absolutely desperate for a win to turn us around.
 

Bilo

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I think you're right, tomorrow could be a big bench mark as well. Win it and you perormed when it matters, fail to win and it says something.
 

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Under normal circumstances, Id be happy with a point from a tough away game at Palace, especially while we're not playing well. But Liverpool are next...pressure is on so much, that even given our form and Palace's, a draw wouldnt be much use. Especially if Hull win the early game, and with Sunderland and Burnley just behind us playing each other.
 
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I don't expect us to win today but three points is desperately needed with our next two games being Liverpool and Chelsea. James McCarthy faces a late fitness test and we need him back more than anyone. It would help as well if Martinez didn't keep sticking Barkley out on the wing but he probably will. We do have a lack of wingers but that is something which should have been addressed in the summer, as it wasn't, Martinez should just alter the formation because Barkley is so limited on the wing there is no point in him even playing. Especially with Baines being so advanced and involved it means Barkley has even less space. But with Naismith performing so admirably behind the striker it is a tough choice to make. Also when McCarthy returns it'd be great to see him and Bešić play together but you just know that Martinez will drop Bešić and keep Barry there. A midfield two of McCarthy and Bešić with Barkley in front of them would be so much better than what we have been seeing recently but with injuries it's not something that has been possible.
 

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Frantic start to this one. Glad I'm watching. Both teams looking up for it and looking to get forward quickly and directly.
 
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That was a massive win. It wasn't pretty but we did enough and defended well. Sometimes it's difficult when you score so early and Palace responded very well to going behind and after Jagielka's clearance off the line you sensed it was going to be one of those days. That's our second clean sheet in a row which is a big positive considering our embarrassing defensive record. With Liverpool at home and Chelsea, Arsenal and Stoke away in our next five games it was vital we picked up three points here.
 

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Absolutely enormous win that. Once we got over Palace's little spell immediately after we scored, I thought the defence was outstanding for probably the first time in the League this season. Joel only really had one save of note to make they protected him that well, as Palace had a lot of the ball and put us under a lot of pressure, but for the first time this season, I never felt we were going to concede after that first 10 minutes. First win in 9, finally opened up a gap and now 7 points clear of the bottom 3. Feel a hell of a lot better about us than I have in ages now.

The defence has got better and better in recent games (set pieces aside, we're still shit at them) and the awful defence has been our downfall pretty much all season, so to have finally sorted that out, it looks so much rosier. Stones and Coleman were absolutely brilliant.
 

Son of Cod

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Agreed. It was like watching last season's Everton defence. Admittedly, I haven't watched much Everton this season but that was the first time I have been impressed by Besic too -\who I thought was a great signing in the summer. I do think that Chamakh' shead clash shook Palace up a bit mentally, as it's never nice to see one of your team go down like that for over five minutes. Didn't think Murray coming on aided them either as it seemed to cause Gayle, who was by far Palace's biggest threat, to go out wide again.
 

Smudge

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Besic took a while to settle into the team and the pace and so on when he first signed, but since maybe the QPR home game in December, he has got better and better. Predominantly defensive player, but will take a bit of responsibility and try and make things happen going forward too.
 

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I think Wolfsburg away was the making of Besic, he was superb in that game. He has the potential to be a wonderful player, someone who loves winning the ball & starting attacks, comfortable with both feet and a bit of flair to go with it. I'd like to see him & McCarthy play together at some point. McCarthy is really good defensively but should take more responsibility in attack, Besic balances that out more than Barry who hasn't had a good season
 

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I cant wait to see them play together. McCarthy is crucial to the way we play, even in attack, as while he's not great going forward, he never stops moving and makes us play that higher tempo. Besic is the same but doesnt move as much, but always wants the ball, so always makes himself available. Its the same way Stones has had an effect on us going forward even from centre half too. As he is comfortable carrying the ball out from defence, so when the keeper gives him the ball, he will run forward, and the midfield can then move further forward. While he was injured, the keeper was giving the ball to Jagielka and Distin, who have no confidence on the ball and would either pass it between each other or hoof it long. Or he was giving it to Barry who would come deep for it, which is fine, but it then takes out one of out midfielders. See the difference on Saturday when Stones takes the ball off Joel and plays in Naismith to set up the winning goal.
 

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