This fixture being switched to a Monday night was a most welcome decision for those of us who have been on international duty.
It was a busy schedule with World Cup qualifiers and friendly matches and so the extra time to prepare for a return to the Premier League has been gratefully accepted.
Some people questioned the need for international games in these challenging times for everyone but it’s part and parcel of football at this level.
I think anything that is approaching normal and means so much to so many people should be encouraged as long as, of course, it is safe to take place.
And, from a personal level, I will always take every opportunity to play for my country.
With one thing and another, it had been a long wait for me to get back to international action before the recent games, so it was good to be involved, albeit the results didn’t go the way we wanted.
As soon as the final whistle blew against Qatar on Tuesday night, all my focus was on [Monday's] game.
Our last match ended in disappointment in the FA Cup, but we all knew the scale of the challenge beforehand and we gave it our best shot.
Manchester City are a cut above everyone else at the moment and nobody would be too surprised if they win all four competitions.
We can counter that disappointment by going on a decent run now in the Premier League.
That’s something we are more than capable of, but we need to actually show it where it matters – on the pitch.
Especially here at Goodison.
I’m not going to labour on our home form of late because the statistics and the results speak for themselves.
We’re not the only team doing better away from home this season, but we’ve got 10 games left now to get something tangible from the campaign.
We want to qualify for Europe next season, simple as that.
It won’t be easy because there are a lot of teams in the mix but it’s what we’ll be aiming for and we’ll be giving everything we’ve got to try to make it.
Games between ourselves and Crystal Palace have always been tightly contested and [Monday's] will be no different. We know we’re in for a competitive evening and we’ve got to be ready for it.
Finally, as always, a message to urge you all to continue to stick to the rules and regulations.
Things are getting better but we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves.
We can’t wait to have you all back inside Goodison Park – and the more we do the right things, the sooner that will be.
All the best,