MX23RW : Friday, February 22 17:39:17

Silva expects Palace to make life tough for Toffees

Silva expects Palace to make life tough for Toffees
© Reuters
Everton have only won three of the last 10 encounters with Crystal Palace including last season’s meeting on Merseyside.

Marco Silva reasoned Everton’s record against Crystal Palace in recent seasons means he cannot afford to take a third successive Premier League victory for granted.

Everton defeated Fulham and Leicester before the international break to kick-start a campaign that was initially blighted by injuries to a number of key personnel.

Silva’s tactics are starting to take root following his appointment in the summer while the injury crisis is easing as Palace prepare to visit Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Eagles are not a bogey team for Everton, but they have collected at least a point from the Toffees in seven of their last 10 meetings.

Silva said: “We are coming off two good wins in the Premier League. We have to work really hard to achieve a third win in a row. It will be a tough game.

“Normally I try to see what has happened in the last few years against the opponent we will play. I think the last 10 matches we played against Crystal Palace we just won three of them, it’s not a good number.

“What we have to do is play at our best level and respect our opponent.”

All four of Palace’s wins this term have come away from Selhurst Park and Silva is wary of their strengths going forward – even if Wilfried Zaha, who faces a late fitness test on an adductor injury, is ruled out.

Silva added: “Our opponent in transition and counter-attack are really strong.

“We’ll have more of the ball, we’ll have more of the possession but we have to play at our best level, always keep good balance as well to create the chance to score and control the game.”

Everton have plenty of attacking options themselves, with a front quartet of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Bernard and Theo Walcott creating plenty of opportunities last time out at Leicester.

Silva said: “It’s really important for me to see what they did. Everybody is happy with the situation, our fans as well.

“For me it’s important they are enjoying what they are doing, they are our players.

“But I don’t want to focus just on these four. They did well in the last match but we have more players to come in as well and to help.

“Now it’s better for us to continue in this way to getting better every time because we will have different problems next Sunday (against Manchester United). They have to be able to find the solutions to score and to win the match.”

New signings Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes, both of whom arrived on transfer deadline day from Barcelona, as well as James McCarthy will be available for Silva after returning to full training following injuries.

Midfielder Idrissa Gueye faces a late fitness test on an ankle problem he sustained while on duty with Senegal.

Silva said: “It’s part of our schedule. We know before the situation could happen.”

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