Despite visibly struggling for confidence in front of goal, it looks as though Christian Benteke will continue to play as Palace’s lone striker for their trip to Bournemouth this weekend, given the latest batch of bad news in relation to the club’s other strikers.
Whilst Connor Wickham was believed to be on the comeback trail after his horrific long-term ligament injury, a groin strain he picked up in the aftermath of an U23 performance has seemingly set his recovery back another few weeks, fuelling speculation as to whether the former Ipswich and Sunderland man will ever manage to play regularly again. It could of course just be dreadful luck but for someone so young (Connor has only just turned 25) he’s spent a worrying length of time on the treatment table.
Alongside Connor, we now have further issues to contend with in the shape of Alexander Sørloth, who appears to be having real trouble shaking off a hamstring strain he picked up two to three weeks ago. The Norwegian missed out on an international call-up during the last round of friendlies as a direct result of the problem and now, following a scan that took place on Tuesday, remains a serious doubt for our clash with Eddie Howe’s men this weekend.
Big, strong and happy to test his covering defenders, Alex does, in theory, present the perfect substitute to the sizeable frame of Benteke but in order to take part, the youngster needs to be match fit and sadly for Roy Hodgson, that’s looking more and more unlikely by the day.
Whatever way you look at it, Palace have been incredibly unlucky with injuries throughout the 2017/18 season. Plenty of fans have raised concerns over what the team are doing from day to day in training but there is every chance that our coaches and the drills they have been running play little to no part in the knocks we’ve amassed since August.
Should we be able to pick up the points necessary to survive in our final six games, I’ll hold out hope of a change of fortune over the summer but in truth, there’s no point in feeling too sorry for ourselves when there are still 18 points up for grabs.
Let’s hope that Big Ben, flanked by the likes of Zaha and Townsend, can get the job done against the Cherries.