Palace boss Roy Hodgson has given supporters a positive update about the fitness of both Mamadou Sakho and Martin Kelly following the Eagles’ loss to Everton last weekend.
With Kelly having hobbled off against Newcastle during our last home game and replaced by Sakho, the Frenchman had been expected to take his place once again at Goodison Park but after training for the majority of the week, he flagged up a twinge in his calf on Friday morning. Whilst it was a bitter blow to take, the manager rested him against the Toffees but since then, an MRI scan has revealed that there is no noticeable damage.
Given the two week break we now have until Premier League action gets back underway, it sounds as though the gaffer expects both Kelly and Sakho to be fully fit and ready for selection in plenty of time, leaving him far more concerned about our options at the head of the field.
With an in-form Tottenham side the next to visit us at Selhurst Park, we’ll need to be on our game in every sense of the word and without the services of Wilfried Zaha, Bakary Sako or long-term absentee Connor Wickham, the boss finds himself searching for some sort of inspiration in the final third. Admittedly, Alexander Sørloth’s debut performance up at Everton came as something of a pleasant surprise but in an ideal world, we’d have enough potency on the flanks to consider dropping the misfiring Christian Benteke and using the aforementioned Norwegian as our lone striking target.
Whilst I’m not against the idea of using both Sørloth and Benteke together in a standard 4-4-2, I don’t think it would be wise to do against a side as dangerous as Spurs. Admittedly, I’m nowhere near as tactically astute as Roy Hodgson, (that’s why he’s employed as our manager and I just spew hundreds of words out trying to make sense of it all) but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that a four-man midfield would be running a risk of getting overrun by a team of Tottenham’s quality throughout the course of 90 minutes.
As things stand, we remain outside the bottom three but with games against Spurs, Manchester United and Chelsea in succession over the next few weeks, we’ll need to prepare ourselves from some massive battles all across the field. With that in mind, the news regarding Kelly and Sakho is music to my ears, despite the lengthy list of players who remain on the treatment table.