Crystal Palace have been made to wait until today to discover whether or not Wilfried Zaha will be available for Sunday’s trip to Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup, following a lengthy deliberation from the game’s governing body.
The 26-year-old winger was initially sent off against Southampton at the end of January having picked up two yellow cards, before going on to clap referee Andre Marriner as he walked off the pitch. The first call from the FA saw them extend his standard ban from one game to two but after sitting out the Eagles’ win at home to Fulham, Zaha (with the club’s backing) appealed the decision.
Given the rules that are currently in place, he was made available for Palace’s Premier League tie with West Ham, scoring the all-important equaliser late on but now, with our trip to Doncaster just over 48 hours away, Roy Hodgson is being made to sweat over whether or not he’ll have his star man available.
Plenty of people will feel as though Palace should be capable of seeing off the League One play-off chasers with or without the academy graduate but with Bakary Sako cup-tied having played in West Brom’s third round tie against Wigan back at the start of January, we remain short of wide men other than Andros Townsend.
It probably means that Max Meyer will fill in on the left and whilst that’s no real problem from a technical perspective, most if not all Palace fans agree that the German is far better suited to playing centrally rather than being stuck out on the flank.
I’m not surprised the FA have made us sweat, I just wish they were as quick when potentially rescinding a ban as they are to dish out extensions on existing ones.