Overview – The apathy for this match is huge. Everyone knows our league season is all but done and fans and players seem to be just waiting for the semi-final to come around. The players must surely be trying to play for their place in that match but it appears they have stopped playing for the manager. More unrest has happened with Martinez being confronted at an Under 21’s match. He clearly knows now how the fans feel but is still coming out with the same rhetoric that things will only get better. The type of talk that us fans used to believe, but not anymore.
Team – With the upcoming semi-final and the derby next week, it would appear to be a good time to start some of the fringe players and rest some of our best players. With the pressure Martinez is under however, I can’t see him resting the like of Lukaku. Niasse needs to have a start and show what he can do. His substitute appearances have been uninspiring but you can’t judge a player on half an hour of football. As mentioned though, it’s unlikely. The likes of Kieran Dowell have impressed for the youth team and it seems like now would be a great time to blood in players, however we’re much more likely to see the likes of Cleverley play instead.
Prediction – Everton have had more than a few issues with Crystal Palace in recent years. Palace have just won their first game in a long time so will go into the game with a bit more added confidence. They’ll know another win and they can stop worrying about relegation so the is motivation there. The awful thing is that a win would mean they go above Everton into 14th, albeit on one more game.
What Will It Mean? – Very little. A win would move us up to the heights of 11th, a long way from Europe which is now unreachable via the league. There is talk about whether a loss would hasten Martinez’ exit from the club, but it’s extremely doubtful the board would do anything between now and the semi-final. The cup is treated very differently from the league, but surely to be in such bad form going into the cup will be a negative. Hopefully we can gain momentum that will help us in Wembley.