Everton player Leighton Baines is set to miss Friday’s clash with Crystal Palace, according to reports. Everton are poised to host Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on September 30th in a much awaited clash. Baines was missing in the 1-0 loss to Bournemouth on Saturday. The loss – the first this term – was a wake-up call to the Toffees, ensuring they drop from second place in the Premier League.

Baines was expected back before the meeting with Alan Pardew’s men, but revelations show he would sit the game out. Bryan Oviedo was the replacement in the left-back position, and is likely the one coach Ronald Koeman would play on Friday.

Many complained that the loss could be traced to the absence of the England international as that was the first game without him in the league this term. The 31-year old ‘Evertonian’ played a key role in the club’s garnering of 13 points in five games. The unexpected thrashing sort of punctured the momentum of otherwise a brilliant start for Everton since Koeman took over. The success of Leicester City last term remains an inspiration for any team, but Everton would have to prove their depth without Baines on Friday.

Crystal Palace are riding on a high, with recent performance booting their confidence level. In their last game against Sunderland, they were 2-0 down at the Stadium of Light. Goals from Jermain Defoe almost gave Sunderland their first win of the season, but Palace equalized. Four minutes into Injury time, Christian Benteke headed home the winner. The defending of Sunderland might be questioned, but Palace were sure determined to get back into the game. With Everton, the defence would surely be more resolute. However, Baines would be missed in a game that is crucial to the confidence levels at Everton.