Crystal Palace welcome
Chelski Chelsea to Selhurst Park on Saturday and the big question is centred around if Wilfred Zaha will play.
Crystal Palace are not only desperate to register their first point, they are desperate to register their first goal.
But there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel with the news that Wilfred Zaha has been back in full training during the international break.
Palace has been without Wilf since our opening game of the season in which we lost 0-3 against Huddersfield Town. In total, he has missed 6 league games and 2 League Cup games which have seen us failing to register a point or a goal in the league.
To make matters worse we have been without striker Christian Benteke, who is regarded as the best header of the ball in the Premier League since he left the field injured during the game against Manchester City at the Etihad.
So, during the last week when our focus has turned to the game against Chelsea the most common question centred around Wilf and if he should play.
As with most things in life, the two answers both have a strong case to make.
Palace are desperate to register a goal and Wilf would certainly give us more of a chance of scoring but is it sensible to risk our best player in a game we are not expected to get a point from?
If Wilf were to start the game he would provide not only the extra injection of attacking quality we’ve been missing but also provide a massive boost for the fans because of his skill and speed.
Just like other flair players before him, Wilf is capable of producing a bit of magic to win a game or to lift the crowd.
Personally, I would keep Wilf back to make sure he is 100% fit to face Newcastle at St. James Park on Saturday week. That is a game which we stand more chance of getting something from.
There are only two scenarios to Saturday’s game. Either Wilf will start and be taken off at around the 60-70 minute mark or he will be a sub and come on, presumably when the game has already got away from us.
As Big Sam used to say “respect the point” and maybe starting Wilf will put Chelsea on the back foot a little and help our defence keep a clean sheet?
To be blunt I don’t think Chelsea would be worried about Wilf coming back because on his own he isn’t a significant threat that would win us the game. Our defence is far too fragile and lacking in confidence that no matter if Wilf guaranteed us a goal, I would think Chelsea can score two.
I would say our best option is to play a traditional five at the back. I might even put Luka or McArthur in the back line as a sweeper in the same way Eddie McGoldrick was deployed in his final season with the club, so he could move into midfield when the time was right.
I know a back five is a negative tactic but it’s a toss-up between parking the bus to get a point and trying to score a goal knowing our defence can’t keep them out.
Roy is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea and we’ll all have our own preference but at the end of the day, it’s points that keep you in the Premier League, not goals.
We’ve already lost the goal difference war, as we are on -17 after 7 games, so if we find ourselves two goals down at halftime then we might as well throw caution to the wind and go for a goal to boost confidence.but until that time we should try and batten down the hatches and keep a clean sheet.
However, until that time we should try and batten down the hatches and keep a clean sheet because that would be more of a confidence boost than nicking a goal.
Respect the point. Earn a point. A clean sheet would be a better platform to go forward than scoring a goal in a 1-2 defeat, or worse.
My line up for the Chelsea game.