Crystal Palace could well be given a significant selection boost in their next fixture away at Huddersfield Town, with star man Wilfried Zaha hinting at being back in time to take on the Terriers.
Be back soon but till then I’ll leave you with some 6 aside fun 💫 pic.twitter.com/eY5KJQev5q
— Wilfried Zaha (@wilfriedzaha) September 4, 2018
The 25-year-old was forced to sit out last Saturday’s home defeat at the hands of Southampton after picking up a groin strain in the last few minutes of our final training session but with a two-week gap now taking place due to the international break, both he and the club’s medical staff will be hoping he makes a full and rapid recovery.
There were some stories suggesting that Wilf undertook a last minute fitness test on the day of our meeting with the Saints but was just unable to get through it. As someone who is widely known to be a quick healer, that clearly bodes well for the game against David Wagner’s men in nine days’ time.
Much has been made of Palace’s failure to win a Premier League game without Zaha since he returned to the club from Manchester United. Whilst I have no doubt that we possess the quality necessary to consign that record to the history books sooner rather than later, there’s no point in downplaying how key the academy graduate is to our tactical set-up. There isn’t a club of our stature anywhere across Europe who wouldn’t look to build their game around Zaha, were he to be turning out in their colours, such is his ability to turn a game on its head in a matter of seconds.
Should the winger indeed return against Huddersfield, both he and his teammates will have to be careful to ensure that he remains protected throughout the 90 minutes, given the nature of their approach to stopping him in both games we played last term.
The first game of the two saw Wilf stuck on the sidelines for weeks after, whilst the game at the Galpharm was no different in style. His last appearance in the side saw Watford’s Capoue commit a potentially season-ending foul on him in the opening minutes of the game, reigniting the suggestion that opposing managers are asking their players to directly target the Ivory Coast international from the off; hopefully the referee next time out is happy to keep a close eye on things from kick-off.