Palace Handed Double Injury Boost Ahead Of West Ham Visit

0 Posted by - October 11, 2015 - News

Crystal Palace have been handed a double injury boost ahead of next weekend’s game against West Ham, with both Joel Ward and Damien Delaney returning to full training earlier this week.

To see images of both Ward and Delaney back in training, click here

Whilst Alan Pardew’s side have coped brilliantly in the pair’s absence, it will be a huge bonus to have them available for selection once again, bolstering our defensive options massively ahead of the hectic run-up towards the festive period in a few weeks time.

Ward has been sidelined for the last five Palace games after sustaining a knee injury shortly after our victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, in which he scored the all-important winner. Admittedly, Martin Kelly has done his best to plug the gap left by the former Pompey man in the intervening weeks, but in truth, the vast majority of Palace fans will feel far more comfortable with Ward on the right-hand side of defence in the coming weeks.

In Delaney’s case, a slight problem he sustained against Charlton Athletic in the Captial One Cup has been enough to keep him out until now, leaving Brede Hangeland to continue his fine run of performances next to the ever-reliable Scott Dann at the heart of our back four.

Both of our last two league fixtures have seen a Delaney-less central  defensive partnership yield clean sheets, leading some to question whether or not the Irishman will walk straight back into the starting XI if passed fit in time for the visit of Slaven Bilic’s Irons.

Despite Hangeland’s advancing years, his efforts over the last few weeks saw him chosen as our Player of the Month for September, having deputised for both Delaney and Scott Dann at different points. Always composed in possession and an absolute man-mountain in the air, the former Fulham man would have every right to feel a tad frustrated were he to be put straight back on the bench as a direct result of Delaney’s return.

It’s certainly a nice dilemma for Alan Pardew to have.

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  • Martyn October 11, 2015 - 12:31 pm Reply

    In keeping with competition in the squad I don’t think you can drop Hangeland for Delaney for West Ham. If Carrol plays I think it makes even more sense to keep Hangeland in the starting line up opposed to Delaney.

    Joel Ward however…..

    I think Kelly has done ok effort wise but distribution has been poor at times and I feel as though Ward makes us stronger defending at right and with his understanding with Zaha, he makes us better going forward and dragging defenders awa y from Wilf by getting around the outside. On top of that all of a sudden he’s getting in the box and scoring goals. I think he shou,d be straight back in for Kelly, just my opinion though.

  • Sharpy October 11, 2015 - 12:34 pm Reply

    It’s great to have Ward and Delaney back but it’s Wickham that we need ! I think Kelly has done a great job in Wards absence and will also be disappointed if dropped. Any idea how long Wickham’s going to be out for ?

  • Jose Fonte baby? Jose Fonte oh oh oh October 11, 2015 - 2:00 pm Reply

    Why meddle with a defence keeping clean sheets? Return of two good players should make them fight harder to play.

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