As it stands, Crystal Palace might be without a couple of key players when they visit Huddersfield on Saturday (16:00 CET).
Connor Wickham update
Wickham has not played a competitive match since November 2016. Roy Hodgson provided an update on Connor’s slow road to recovery.
“He is making some progress I think, but he hasn’t trained with the team for well over a month, so I don’t see much of him,”
“But there is some talk that he might be returning to training in about a week or two’s time, and we will see how that goes.”
Wickham has attempted to come back several times, the last time being in pre-season, but he has suffered an injury setback every single time. His knee is not responding to treatments as well as hoped, forcing constant delays in the striker’s recovery.
Christian Benteke is out
Christian Benteke has been dealing with a knee injury of his own since pre-season and will definitely miss Saturday’s contest.
“He [Benteke] has had a niggling knee injury that kept him out for a short while in pre-season and he had to miss some time training in Sweden, and that is an ongoing issue that is being dealt with, so at the moment he won’t be available, certainly for Saturday.”
Wilfried Zaha is questionable
Zaha is dealing with a groin strain. He missed the team’s last game versus Southampton, and even though doctors weren’t ready to let him proceed with training, Zaha was eager to get back on the pitch.
“It was debatable whether he should train or not, but he was anxious to try, and the same applied to James Tomkins, and it was good to see them back out with us again.”
James Tomkins may give it a go
Tomkins is trying to make an early return from a calf strain. He’s doing everything in his power to convince the doctors he’s ready for Huddersfield, but ultimately, it all depends on whether they’ll give the green light. If not, Martin Kelly will be Mamadou Sakho’s partner again.
Scott Dann and Pape Souare are nursing injuries for a while as well.
Huddersfield – Crystal Palace Preview
Crystal Palace was without these players when they lost to Southampton at home in the last round before the international break. Benteke is the only new name on the injury list. Zaha is the key here. The last time Crystal Palace won a game without the star striker in the starting lineup was a 3-2 victory against Sunderland in September 2016. Therefore, Hodgson’s team desperately needs Zaha to feature. His potential absence would leave Jordan Ayew and Alexander Sorloth as the only natural forwards available to the experienced English manager.
Huddersfield – Crystal Palace Bet365 Odds
Huddersfield – Crystal Palace H2H
After the opening round win against Fulham, Crystal Palace have lost three straight matches. Huddersfield is winless but fresh after the international break. They’ll be looking to exploit Palace’s injuries and grab a win. Last season’s meetings were the first ever in the Premier League between these two teams. They both ended in road team victories.