Crystal Palace-Everton Preview
Frank Lampard would not be drawn on whether Dominic Calvert-Lewin is fit enough to mark a second successive start for Everton against Crystal Palace in the Premier League this weekend, but admitted having the England international back in the fold is a massive boost for his side.
The forward returned for the Toffees against Newcastle earlier this week, as he continues to step up his recovery from a knee injury sustained just before the start of the 2022-23 campaign, in a promising sign for his club.
While the attacker's chances of making the England plane to the Qatar 2022 World Cup appear to have been dashed by his lack of game-time, it still marked a crucial milestone to see him return – and Lampard was quick to pay tribute to his skillset when talking about his progress.
"He brings a lot to this team," he said. "He is a high-level England striker. You see from his natural attributes: strength, speed and aerial ability. We have to play to the best strengths of that.
"You can't take lightly how much we've missed him and we can't just replace it with another £50m striker. It's been a big hole for us."
Lampard also discussed partnering Calvert-Lewin with new recruit Neal Maupay.
"We can use both players' strengths equally and having Dominic back gives us options," he said. Neal is very good coming between the lines and receiving the ball.
"There will be times when we're better with possession and get more territory up the pitch so we can use both strikers, particularly at Goodison Park."
Opposite number Patrick Vieira, meanwhile, highlighted a need to show their "ambition" in order to convince Wilfried Zaha to stay, with his contract set to expire next summer.
"We can only show him the love that we have for him and, the way he has been playing, he's sending back the love as well," he stated. "There's no losing energy in that situation. We know how important he is for us - he's a big player for this club and Wilfried loves to have that kind of pressure on his shoulders."
"When you look at the talent we have on the field and the young players around him, it shows the ambition of the club. He loves the way we're playing because it allows him to score goals and to take responsibility as well. He's always been a leader and the young players are in really good hands."
Everton – Alex Iwobi
Only against Wolves (3) has the Toffees man scored more Premier League goals than he has against Palace (2). The Nigerian has also created the most chances (18) and has the most goal involvements (4) for the club in the league this season.
Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha
The Ivory Coast international has been involved in six goals in his last eight Premier League appearances (5 goals, 1 assist), with these goal involvements being worth eight points to Crystal Palace.
- After losing four of their first six Premier League home games against Crystal Palace (W2), Everton are unbeaten in their last seven against the Eagles at Goodison Park (W4 D3).
- Crystal Palace have won just one of their last 15 Premier League games against Everton (D7 L7), beating them 3-1 at Selhurst Park last season.
- After a run of seven defeats in 10 Premier League home games between October and March last season (W2 D1), Everton have now lost just three of their last 11 (W5 D3). However, they did lose against Manchester United last time out, last losing consecutively at Goodison Park in March.
- Crystal Palace are winless in their last six Premier League away games (D4 L2), with their last two such games finishing goalless. Only one team has ever drawn 0-0 in 3+ consecutive away games in the competition, with Fulham having a run of four in December 2008.
- No team has scored fewer home goals in the Premier League than Everton this season, netting just three in their five games at Goodison Park so far.
Updated October 21, 2022