Julian Speroni

Crystal Palace travel to Wembley to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. Palace have a few injuries so how would I have them line up

It seems that since Roy Hodgson has taken over as manager of Crystal Palace that our list of injuries has become less publicised.

For example, it seemed that nobody had any idea that Mamadou Sakho has sustained an injury up at Newcastle or that James McArthur had also picked up an injury in the same game.

I am not criticising the manager for being secretive. It may have been that he was hoping the pair would have been fit to face West Ham but even if this were, not the case, why tip off the opposition about the fitness of our personnel?

It seems Sakho has been in training this week but I am not sure of the condition of McArthur and neither am I sure of the fitness of Patrick van Aanholt who went off with a pulled hamstring on Saturday.

So with that in mind and given the fact that we are playing Spurs at Wembley, I would go with the following team in a 4231 formation with my reasons below.

  Speroni  
Ward Dann Sakho Schlupp
  Cabaye Milivojevic  
Townsend Loftus-Cheek Zaha
  Sako  

I’ve presumed that Sakho will be fit but McArthur and van Aarnholt won’t be fit enough to start the game.

Personally, I’d like to see Souare start but I think the size of the pitch will be too much for him so I’d have him on the bench to come on if Schlupp needs to be moved further up the field.

As I just mentioned, Wembley has a big pitch and I’ve always felt that through the years Palace have always performed better on big pitches. We usually have fast, skilful wide players and they can be better utilised in their natural positions.

Having Sako up front as a battering ram and a focal point will help take the focus off Zaha and Townsend while Loftus-Cheek being in the ‘number 10’ role will be a major help to support Sako.

We say against West Ham when Sako came on and Loftus-Cheek moved from the right into the middle how we were able to push the opposition’s centre-backs further towards their own goal.

I’d opt against being too defensive, something I advocated versus Chelsea and instead do what seemed we did so well against Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham (second half) and attack the buggers from the off.

Sometimes the best form of defence is to attack so put them on the back foot from the off and throw caution to the wind.

Playing a team who are expected to be in the top 4 at the end of the season away from home is like a freebie so we have nothing to lose.

Spurs are expected to have Harry Kane back for this game but they have a Champions League game in midweek so maybe the team will be a little tired and there for the taking.

Remember, West Ham beat a practically full-strength Spurs team at Wembley last week.

If we can think it we can do it!

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  • Lee Gilbert

    Yep, I’d agree with that

    • Needs are as needs must. Hopefully they’ll be tired after their game last night.