In a bid to rebuild his side’s shattered confidence ahead of this weekend’s trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford, Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has scheduled in a behind-closed-doors friendly with non-league Bromley.
After letting in five against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City last weekend, the former England boss is no doubt desperate to inject some confidence into his players before taking on the joint leaders of the Premier League at the Theatre of Dreams.
Still without a Premier League goal to our names this season, fans are already beginning to wonder if we’ll be left cut adrift from the relegation dog fight before the end of November, leaving Roy and his coaches with next to no time in which to turn our fortunes around.
We all know that our first-choice starting XI is capable of beating anyone on their day but after struggling through five of our opening six fixtures without Wilfried Zaha, it’s been incredibly difficult for the lads to build up anything resembling a head of steam.
Now that Christian Benteke is likely to spend a considerable amount of time on the sidelines with ligament damage, Hodgson will have to be extremely inventive with his team selections, regardless of the pressure to get points on the board.
Former non-league striker Freddie Ladapo is the only out-and-out frontman left within the named first-team squad but having never had a run of games in the Palace side, throwing him in from the start against Jose Mourinho’s Reds on their own patch is likely to be something Hodgson will be keen to avoid.
I would imagine Ladapo will earn a place on the bench this weekend, leaving Bakary Sako as the makeshift striker. It’s about as far away from ideal as you could imagine but after our shambolic summer transfer window, we’ve only got ourselves to blame.
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