Crystal Palace are set to be without the injured Wilfried Zaha for this weekend’s clash with Liverpool.
The forward hasn’t played since being forced off with a hamstring problem on January 21st. And as per The Athletic, he is still a ‘couple of weeks’ away from a return.
Given the timing of things, you would think this would make facing Liverpool an impossibility. However, rather than definitively ruling him out, The Athletic report that it is currently ‘unlikely’ Zaha will be fit to face the Reds.
There is good news for Palace though, with left-back Tyrick Mitchell said to be ‘in contention’ to play. Defenders Chris Richards and Joachim Andersen are also reportedly available after recent injury problems.
Liverpool escape Zaha assignment
Having just emerged battered and bruised from facing Vinicius Junior, this will be good news for Trent Alexander-Arnold today.
Zaha isn’t in the same class as the Real Madrid winger. But he can be equally as effective on his day.
Of late, plenty of those days seem to be coming against Liverpool. It was he who put the Reds behind in the reverse fixture at Anfield early into the season.
The 30-year-old is a constant menace. So much so that former Palace striker Clinton Morrison has described him as being ‘unstoppable’ in The Daily Mail. Zaha’s good form and availability on a free this summer has also led to tentative links with Liverpool.
With the Reds tired off the back of a Champions League pummelling last night, the Ivorian is one of the last players you’d want to be facing. Luckily, it seems virtually certain that they’ll get away with it.
However, this doesn’t mean that Palace should be taken lightly. They’re not in great form right now, but Liverpool will be rocking after Tuesday night’s embarrassment.
Patrick Vieira’s side also have some decent understudies. Jeff Schlupp is a Premier League winner, while Eberechi Eze is almost as likely to wreak havoc as Zaha if deployed on the left.
So, Liverpool will still have to be right at it on Saturday night. If they allow themselves to be opened up as they were last night, they’ll struggle again. Zaha or no Zaha.
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