Crystal Palace make the trip to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, but they will be without a couple of components of their squad for the clash.
The Eagles head to Merseyside with their form starting to take a turn for the worst, and while they should be fine when it comes to surviving in the top flight this term, they could do with a win or two just for extra comfort.
Palace have their winter break after this match, so there is no reason why they can’t give their all at Goodison in the quest for three valuable points.
If the Eagles are going to get the win against Everton, they will have to do so without a couple of men, with Martin Kelly ruled out through injury, and Cenk Tosun ineligible against his parent club, although he wasn’t fit enough to start anyway.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson confirmed the reason why his defender will miss out against the Toffees when he addressed the media ahead of the match and also gave an update on the remainder of his squad.
“We’ve lost Martin Kelly which is a blow. Unfortunately in the bit of training that players sometimes do after a game when they’ve not taken part as a substitute, he picked up a slight calf strain. It’s not massive but it’s enough to keep him out,” the Eagles official website quote him as saying.
“Otherwise, it’s the same injuries as before, Cenk Tosun is injured but he can’t play [v Everton] anyway. Jeffrey Schlupp and Mamadou Sakho are continuing recovery.”
Although Palace go into the match in the bottom half of the table, a win would elevate them back up to ninth in the Premier League and would see any lingering fears of relegation surely snuffed out.
Hodgson must be given credit for the job he has done at Selhurst Park, with a lack of resources available to him in the transfer market over the last few windows.
Palace are a dangerous counter-attacking unit and as such the London side could well set up to hit Everton on the break on Saturday.