Crystal Palace host struggling Fulham in a London derby in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, and they are expecting to have their deadline day signing in their squad for the clash.
The Eagles were searching long and hard for a striker throughout the transfer window, and they finally got their man on the last day of the month, bringing Michy Batshuayi in on loan from Chelsea for the remainder of the season.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson has admitted that he expects his new star to go straight into the squad to face the Cottagers, which should be a boost to the attacking play of the Selhurst Park unit.
“I think so [Batshuayi will be fit to play], I will see him this afternoon.” The Eagles’ official website quotes him as saying.
I’ll wait here to meet him and speak with him, he was fit enough for Valencia so there’s no reason not to play for us. But I need to speak to him to find out how he feels and make a decision.”
Hodgson also confirmed that his Palace outfit would be missing midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate for the contest due to injury, but he is hoping that James Tomkins will be fit to face Claudio Ranieri’s men, despite picking up a knock in the draw at Southampton in midweek.
“We’ve got a couple of players who we need to test tomorrow morning. It’s not looking that bad but one player who will miss tomorrow is Cheikhou Kouyate because he twisted his ankle during the first half [against Southampton] but carried on for the second half. We’re hoping it won’t be that serious but it will keep him out tomorrow.”
“James Tomkins trained this morning and we don’t think there will be any problems there. The training was quite light though so we need to check him tomorrow.”
One other man who Hodgson will be without for the clash with the struggling Londoners is Wilfried Zaha. He is suspended after his petulant red card at St Mary’s Stadium, which will be a real disappointment to the Palace boss as his team have a very ordinary record without their attacking talisman, something he hopes his side can put behind them on Saturday.