Crystal Palace face a tough task away to Manchester United on Saturday afternoon, as they go in search of a first win of the season, but they will do so without a couple of defensive stalwarts.
The Eagles are not only looking to get off the mark for victories in this campaign, but they are still eyeing up a first goal of it as well, something everyone connected with the club will be eager for them to achieve as soon as is possible.
Palace had a very good away record last term. Only the top six bettered their form on the road, and manager Roy Hodgson will be hoping his side can show more of that at Old Trafford on Saturday, after a thoroughly disappointing outing against Sheffield United last weekend.
The good news for the Eagles boss is that he has no new injury concerns for the clash with United, with just the defensive pair of Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins missing from his squad.
Hodgson explained at his pre-match press conference that the Palace duo are back in training, but was hesitant to put a timescale on a potential return for them.
“Mamadou Sakho trained with us for a while then felt his knee again. He still trains with the physio, aside from the first-team group. Unfortunately he and James Tomkins have spent pre-season in the medical room, training along with the sport science people.” The Eagles official website quote him as saying.
“They’re working at it. It’s difficult to put a timescale on. Both are getting closer and are working hard every day. The doctors would be upset with me if I talk timescales,”
“They’ll be rapping my knuckles.”
Palace drew 0-0 at Old Trafford last season, and a similar result on Saturday afternoon would be acceptable after a tricky beginning to the campaign.