Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Crystal Palace Will Miss Three First Team Stars This Month: How Can Hodgson Cover For Them?

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Anirban Sarkar
Anirban Sarkar is a former columnist of The 4th Official. A huge East Bengal fan and has travelled over 1000 miles to see his team in action.

Crystal Palace have been rocked by injuries in recent times. The Eagles are scheduled to entertain Chelsea in their next game but Roy Hodgson won’t be able to use the service of Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Palace are on a seven-match winless run in the Premier League and it would need some adventurous moments from them to stop Chelsea’s wagon. Hodgson will have hoped to bring parity to the squad but injuries to these key players have played spoilsport for him.

The former England manager has lost all the three matches so far following his appointment at the Selhurst Park and would be trying to keep the score to a respectable margin.

There was some positive news regarding Zaha’s injury but it is understood the player still needs time to recover from his injury. Benteke had a knee problem while Loftus-Cheek is ineligible to play against his parent club. The manager might need to make a few tweaks to his lineup for his next game and here is his strongest possibility:

Defence

Wayne Hennessey could emerge as a hero if he can successfully keep the Blues attackers at bay. The defending champions have a pretty formidable attacking lineup and would be looking to pile more misery on the Eagles.

Both James Tomkins and Scott Dan are set to miss the match leaving Hodgson in a lurching position. 36-year-old Damien Delaney featured in the 4-0 romp against Manchester United and he should be picked in this match too.

He will be accompanied by Mamadou Sakho in the backline. Patrick Van Aanholt will have the task to restrict players from the left-hand side while Joel Ward will be operating from the right side of the defence.

Midfield

Playing against sides like Chelsea is always tough so Hodgson should go ahead with a double pivot in the midfield. Luka Milivojevic will be on the base of the midfield to ensure the backline stay rigid in their position.

James McArthur should get a call-up to the team as he has the knack of making his chances in big games count.

Attack

Jeffrey Schlupp was used in a far more advanced position and with a scarcity of players right now, he will continue in that position. Jason Puncheon will use all his expertise from the no. 10 position to give the side a much-needed thrust in the attack.

Andros Townsend will be on the right wing. Bakary Sako will lead the attack in the absence of Benteke.

Here is how they could be set-up:

football formations

Do you think this lineup can help Crystal Palace pick some points in the future or at the least, help them score a goal?

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