After a disappointing F.A. Cup defeat to rivals Brighton on Monday, Crystal Palace will be glad to return to Premier League action tomorrow afternoon.
Palace will welcome Burnley to Selhurst Park with the prospect of moving up to 10th place in the league.
However, despite their impressive run over the last few months, Roy Hodgson’s side won’t be going into this game as confident as they like.
On Palace’s injury crisis, Hodgson said:
“There are a lot of injuries at the moment, but we still have a very competitive starting 11 but we are stretched to the limit but hopefully that’ll change over the next couple of weeks.
“Mamadou Sakho is moving slowly in the right direction and Joel Ward is getting much closer to returning but he’s not ready yet.”
Monday’s game saw a couple more names added to the injury list in Andros Townsend and Jeffrey Schlupp and on the pair, the Palace boss added:
“They’re both on crutches but Schlupp will be operated on, on Monday and for him we’re talking months rather than weeks. For Andros, he’s slightly better, he’s had his operation and his foot is also in a boot but I’d like to think he’s closer to a month rather than months.”
Despite an injury crisis never being a good thing to happen at a club, this may be the best time to play Burnley at home. Sean Dyche’s side haven’t won a game in a month and following a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City could be quite sore going into this game.
Crystal Palace also have the fact that they came very close to snatching a victory from Manchester City just a couple of weeks ago for extra motivation, but without a key player in Townsend, the task has been made just that bit harder.
However, that doesn’t take away from Burnley’s impressive season which sees them sitting in 7th place, five points behind Arsenal.
On Dyche’s efforts, Hodgson said:
“He’s done an excellent job and I think he’s getting the credit he deserves because it’s not just this season, he’s built over three or four seasons and built a very good team and he’s really got that team playing well so all the credit is totally justified.”
This game also signifies the reverse fixture which saw Frank de Boer manage his last game as Palace boss. Since then and the introduction of Hodgson things have been flying high for the Eagles and speaking on that, he said:
“I inherited a very good group of players who I think want the same thing as me so it’s a good working environment and we’re just doing our best to take the work from the training ground onto the pitch.”
Even though that group of players has proved to be very good since Hodgson took charge there is still no hiding from the injuries. So will tomorrow show that additions are needed to the squad in order to fight off relegation, or can Palace defy the odds again by grabbing all three points and moving up to 10th. Find out tomorrow lunch time.