Budding super star Michael Olise and Africa Cup of Nations bound Ghanaian Jordan Ayew are the most notable absentees for Crystal Palace when Roy Hodgson’s Eagles host Everton in FA Cup third round action tonight. The French U-21 star pulled a hamstring while starring in Palace’s 3-1 victory over Brentford on New Year’s Day.
Sean Dyce’s five time winners Everton are without Senegal’s Idriss Gana Gueye as they attempt to wipe their abysmal 0-3 Premier League capitulation to Wolverhampton Wanderers 72 hours ago. Little separates the two sides in both EPL standings and quality but 1990 and 2016 FA Cup losing finalists Palace, who on Monday won their first game in nine outings have an axe to grind as they were stunned 3-2 by the Toffees on their last visit to Selhurst Park.
Fast improving Burnley will test eight time winners Tottenham Hotspur on Friday in one of two all Premier League clashes. Ange Postecoglu’s Spurs have won over neutrals with their fearless brand of attacking football but their status as favourites to progress in this tie has been thrown into doubt by injuries and January departures to continental tournaments in Asia and Africa. Skipper Son Heung Min, Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr have joined injured talisman James Maddison and Micky van de Ven as key absentees.
Thomas Frank’s injury ravaged Brentford will be targeting quick redemption at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers just days after Gary O’Neil’s visitors pulverized them 4-1 in the Premier League. Wolves’ South Korean top scorer Hwang Hee Chan, Algerian Rayan Ait-Nouri and Malian Boubacar Traore are a big miss for the visitors while the Bees are to do without the services of Henry Onyecka and DR Congo’s Yoane Wissa.
The pick of the matches takes place at Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening when Liverpool confront record 14-time winners Arsenal in game capable of providing a psychological lift to whichever side emerges triumphant. The Gunners’ mood has been soured by a lean spell in which they have won just one of out their last six Premier League encounters. Jurgen Klopp’s Kop have meanwhile surged to the summit of the standings where they hold a five point cushion over Mikel Arteta’s charges.
Though the sides played out a one-all draw in a Premier League fixture a fortnight ago, Liverpool’s free scoring front line of Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota is regarded as an advantage over a Gunners front three that’s overly reliant on winger Bukayo Saka. Goal shy Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah are thus required to roll up their sleeves if Arsenal are to prevail in this blockbuster clash.
Crystal Palace v Everton
Brentford v Wolves,
Fulham v Rotterdam,
Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley
Chelsea v Preston North End,
Stoke City v Brighton,
Middlesbrough v Aston Villa
Sunderland v Newcastle United,
Gillingham v Sheffield United,
Luton Town v Bolton Wanderers
West Ham United v Bristol City,
Manchester City v Huddersfield Town
Wigan v Manchester United