Zaha return lifts Palace but Hodgson cautions pinning hopes on one player

Winger will have to hit the ground running after two months out and manager has urged his struggling squad not to put too much ‘on his plate’

A month into Roy Hodgson’s return to club football and he finally had some positive news to relay. Crystal Palace will benefit from the return of Wilfried Zaha on Saturday, a player “with the X factor” who has been absent since the opening-day defeat by Huddersfield. “He can dribble and beat people but most of all he has a special place in the hearts and minds of the supporters,” said the manager. “They will feel more comfortable now that he is back, believing he is the type of person who can change a game and turn a defeat into a draw or a draw into a victory. There is a big psychological factor with him being able to play again.”

Then, in keeping with a campaign littered with lows, came the inevitable reality check. Zaha has not played for two months and must hit the ground running against the champions, Chelsea’s visit completing a brutal set of fixtures which have left Palace floundering scoreless and pointless at the foot of the division. There is no recognised striker fit and available and the allocated back-up, Bakary Sako, returned to training only on Thursday after his latest injury issues. The first-choice goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey, faces a fitness test, with Julian Speroni on standby to start his first top-flight game since the season before last. The 38-year-old’s last league appearance at Selhurst Park was in May 2015.

Continue reading…

Winger will have to hit the ground running after two months out and manager has urged his struggling squad not to put too much ‘on his plate’A month into Roy Hodgson’s return to club football and he finally had some positive news to relay. Crystal Palace will benefit from the return of Wilfried Zaha on Saturday, a player “with the X factor” who has been absent since the opening-day defeat by Huddersfield. “He can dribble and beat people but most of all he has a special place in the hearts and minds of the supporters,” said the manager. “They will feel more comfortable now that he is back, believing he is the type of person who can change a game and turn a defeat into a draw or a draw into a victory. There is a big psychological factor with him being able to play again.”Then, in keeping with a campaign littered with lows, came the inevitable reality check. Zaha has not played for two months and must hit the ground running against the champions, Chelsea’s visit completing a brutal set of fixtures which have left Palace floundering scoreless and pointless at the foot of the division. There is no recognised striker fit and available and the allocated back-up, Bakary Sako, returned to training only on Thursday after his latest injury issues. The first-choice goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey, faces a fitness test, with Julian Speroni on standby to start his first top-flight game since the season before last. The 38-year-old’s last league appearance at Selhurst Park was in May 2015. Continue reading…

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/13/crystal-palace-wilfried-zaha-roy-hodgson

Powered by WPeMatico

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.