Palace Given Major Fitness Boost Ahead Of Brighton But Should He Start?

0 Posted by - April 11, 2018 - News

Having limped out of training late last week with a groin strain it now looks as though Christian Benteke will be declared fit for this weekend’s massive home game against Brighton but after a different attacking approach against the Cherries on Saturday just gone, should Roy Hodgson throw the Belgian straight back into the side?

With both Connor Wickham and Alexander Sørloth still sidelined with injuries, Benteke remains the only out-and-out striker available for selection ahead of the crunch clash with the Seagulls but after deploying both Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend in openly attacking roles against Eddie Howe’s men, some are suggesting that Christian should start this weekend’s game on the bench, allowing the aforementioned duo’s burgeoning partnership to grow.

Whilst Benteke’s lack of goals so far this season make it hard for anyone to confidently suggest that his inclusion in the starting XI would be preferential to that tactical plan, I do feel as though we will need to employ a formation and style that the squad are used to heading into a game of such magnitude.

Admittedly, we created a pleasing number of chances against Bournemouth and had we been more clinical, we could have been out of sight long before they mounted a late comeback but with five games to go and two wins needed if we are serious about avoiding the drop, I can certainly see why many are keen not to keep Benteke out of the side altogether against Chris Hughton and co.

Yes, he’s struggling hugely for confidence, yes, he missed a couple of gilt-edged chances against Liverpool in his last appearance but what better way to get back that sense of belief than by notching the winner against our biggest rivals with his first goal at Selhurst in the 2017/18 season?

It wouldn’t matter to me, or anyone else for that matter, if Benteke scored the winner off his own backside from half a yard out, the only thing that any of us care about at this stage is gaining three more points and putting some real breathing room between ourselves and Southampton in eighteenth place.

Whatever Roy Hodgson decides to go with on the day, I will get behind but right now, with a little over three days to go before the game kicks off, I would imagine he is as undecided as anyone about what to do with the big man.

What are your thoughts?

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  • TonyN April 11, 2018 - 6:51 am Reply

    Think no matter his strike rate at the moment we have to give him a start. One it gives us a target who can flick on which will expose the Brighton defence. And secondly he has been getting assists. He seems to have been grafting more in the last few games and it poses a different challenge for the Gulls defence which should help both Wilf and Andros. I would prefer to see Sorloth fit and spearheading but we are stuck with a shortage and I can’t see Roy starting without a recognised striker if one is fit.

  • t.carter April 11, 2018 - 7:47 am Reply

    are u both dreaming.take the wool out of your eyes.benteke,is lazy,useless lump.we need a team performance.when really did this man have an influence on a game.his last performance,a flick on.he fails to dominate any opposing centre-half.if he is that good,why are we contemplating selling in the summer.and oh yes we will.the team on saturday played with a better freedom.we can,t be ham-strung by someone does,nt even try.P,LEASE stop making excuses for him,he is useless.

  • Phil H April 11, 2018 - 8:05 am Reply

    I agree start Christian. He is a handful. He is also a proven goal scorer. Hopefully one goal will give him the much needed confidence boost and the dam will break.

  • Sean April 11, 2018 - 8:08 am Reply

    Benteke has been massively responsible for many of our goals of late. He has been massive defending corners too. I might start with the Bournemouth line-up and bring Benteke on 2nd half with fresh legs – perhaps. Either way, he is massive up forward for us with his hold-up play and assists and massive defending set-pieces. Ask yourselves this: Would BHA prefer to see him on the pitch or the bench? Also, a goal or two against our arch rivals would boost his confidence.

  • Spiceboy April 11, 2018 - 8:11 am Reply

    I’m not a fan of zaha & Townsend up front I prefer both causing havoc down the wings and stretching the game. Although I despise benteke at the moment and would prefer sloth or wicks I say start him against Brighton. Imagine if he did score against the scum it may just push him and us on until the end of the season. Then sell him for in the summer far too lazy a player for the palace faithful

  • ee signing April 11, 2018 - 11:20 pm Reply

    I agree with Sean and Spiceboy. on this. Importantly Wilf or Andros should at times try to get close to him when we decide to go long to him No point in the ball being headed into space.

    • admin April 12, 2018 - 1:44 am Reply

      It’s fair to say that a narrow 4-3-3 as opposed to your standard 4-5-1 would aid Benteke hugely. The man wins flick-ons for fun, sadly there’s almost never anyone there to receive them.

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