Crystal Palace will look to continue their winning momentum when they lock horns with AFC Bournemouth at Selhurst Park on Tuesday. The Eagles are coming into this clash on the back of a 2-0 win over Burnley last weekend, and a victory against the Cherries could help them return to the top half of the league table.
Here is how Roy Hodgson’s men could line up this week.
Hodgson will have several injury worries in the defensive department heading into this fixture. Joel Ward has been ruled out while both Scott Dann and Gary Cahill are doubts. That means Mamadou Sakho may feature in the backline, should both of them fail to return to full fitness in midweek.
Sakho will be partnered by James Tomkins at the heart of Palace’s four-man backline. They will be expected to keep close tabs on the duo of Callum Wilson and Dominic Solanke.
Hodgson doesn’t have many options in the fullback department. Martin Kelly will assume his role in the right-back slot while Patrick van Aanholt is a guaranteed starter on the opposite flank. It will be interesting to see how the Dutchman deals with the threat of Harry Wilson on the left flank.
Wayne Hennessey, meanwhile, will retain his place in goal, ahead of Vicente Guaita. The Welshman will be looking for his first clean sheet of the campaign.
Hodgson is likely to stick with the formula of deploying three central midfielders in a 4-5-1 setup. While James McArthur is a guaranteed starter, he will be accompanied by Cheikhou Kouyate. The determination and commitment of these two midfielders could be key in cutting off passing lanes of the Bournemouth midfielders.
Luka Milivojevic, meanwhile, is expected to operate in a deeper role in midfield. The Serbian will mainly provide defensive security to the backline. But at the same time, his proficiency from set-pieces could be one of Palace’s primary sources of creativity.
It is needless to say that Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha will both start in the wide midfield roles. Zaha, in particular, will look to be a constant menace for the Bournemouth backline. He is also expected to move into a central role and destabilise the opposing defence.
However, a lot will depend on how the lone striker Jordan Ayew fares in this fixture. The Ghanaian is the club’s top scorer this season, and his work-rate could be crucial for the Eagles going forward.
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