Everton-Crystal Palace Preview

The Associated Press

Crystal Palace caretaker manager Keith Millen is in charge for Saturday's home match versus Everton as the club continues its search for a replacement for Ian Holloway, who left Selhurst Park last month.

Palace (1-0-9) have lost seven straight Premier League matches and are bottom of the table with just three points from 10 games.

Several names have been linked with the Palace manager's post, including current Wales head coach Chris Coleman and former Stoke boss Tony Pulis. Another early favourite, former Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill, dropped out of the running in midweek when he was appointed Republic of Ireland manager.

Despite their poor start, defender Joel Ward insists the Eagles can bounce back and remain in the top flight.

"We've got a great bunch of guys here who will dig in deep and keep focused on our jobs," Ward told his club's official website. "We'll give everything we can to turn it around.

"Every week's a tough game, especially in the Premier League - you're up against some of the best players in the world. It's great to be here, but we want to start getting results, start putting things right and start putting in bigger performances and coming away with points."

Millen's preparations for the Everton match have been unsettled by news that midfielder Adlene Guedioura will be sidelined for at least six weeks with a punctured lung and two broken ribs. The Algeria international was injured during a collision with West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Boaz Myhill during the Eagle's 2-0 defeat at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

Palace have injury concerns over Wales midfielder Jonathan Williams (ankle), striker Glen Murray (knee ligament) plus defenders Paddy McCarthy (groin) and Jack Hunt (ankle).

Everton (5-4-1) have made a promising start under new boss Roberto Martinez and are seventh in the standings on 19 points from 10 matches, just one behind second-placed Chelsea.

The Toffees, who were held to a goalless draw by Tottenham at Goodison Park last weekend, have lost just one match in England's top flight.

The Merseysiders will be without the services of striker Arouna Kone for a lengthy period after confirming the injury he sustained during last month's 2-1 home win over Hull City was far more serious than first feared. The Ivory Coast international is set to undergo knee surgery that is potentially season-ending.

"We had disappointing news (by which Kone) will need a bit of a period away," Martinez told the Everton club website. "We need to give him a lot of support because he was enjoying his role when he came on against Hull and then he got a nasty incident that is going to keep him away for a long time.

"He had a loosened body, a bit of cartilage in his knee, so we need to repair that which will take time. We're going to work on other aspects of his body to get him fully fit and strong so that when he comes back, he is ready to enjoy his football. It's going to be a long spell out and that's disappointing."

Everton will also be without midfielder Darron Gibson, who suffered a serious knee injury during the Republic of Ireland's 3-1 win over Kazakhstan last month, but Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku is fit to face Palace after recovering from a thigh knock suffered against Tottenham.

These two sides last met in the Premier League during the 2004-05 season. Everton won both matches, cruising to a 4-0 victory at Selhurst Park after winning 3-1 at Goodison.

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