Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson hasn’t been shy in venting his anger with Swansea City ahead of tonight’s League Cup tie between the two sides, after it was revealed that they were insistent on the game being played on Tuesday rather than Wednesday, despite our clash with Watford taking place little more than 48 hours before.
Whilst both domestic cup competitions represent a rather straightforward route into European football for clubs of our stature, the strain placed on the squad by two games in such quick succession will give the gaffer no option but to rotate heavily if he is to have any chance of gaining another massive three points in our next Premier League game at home to Southampton this coming weekend.
You can be almost certain that the likes of Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha, and Luka Milivojevic will be given the night off in south Wales, allowing for players like Alexander Sørloth, Max Meyer and Cheikhou Kouyate to make starts in their absence but Roy has also got a bee in his bonnet about new signing Jordan Ayew, who won’t be allowed to play any part, given the terms of his loan agreement with the Swans.
Graham Potter and co. were rather unhappy with the manner in which Ayew forced his way out of The Liberty Stadium following the club’s relegation from the top flight back in May and as such, didn’t make it easy for Palace in the pursuit of the Ghanaian ahead of the early transfer deadline. Now, with the attacker technically on loan to us from his “parent club” he won’t be permitted to play a single minute of tonight’s game, leaving Roy feeling rather peeved.
Following on from the optimism generated by our opening day victory away at Fulham, Palace have now suffered back-to-back defeats, making the timing of tonight’s trip far from ideal preparation for what is already shaping up to be a big game against Mark Hughes’ Saints on Saturday.
Hopefully we can come away from Wales with a victory and no further injury problems. Keep your fingers crossed.