Leicester Sweating On Late Fitness Tests For Key First-Team Pair

0 Posted by - February 22, 2019 - News

Crystal Palace will travel to Leicester City tomorrow evening hoping for a victory which would see them take a massive step towards Premier League safety and the Eagles may well be given a helping hand given news of two late fitness tests for Foxes first-teamers. 

According to Claude Puel, both James Maddison and Ben Chilwell will be forced to undergo late fitness tests before being given the green light to face Roy Hodgson’s men. Whilst no one likes to see a rival player injured, there is no doubt that the pair’s absence would be a huge help to Palace’s cause on the day, given the way both have performed all season long. 

Saturday evening’s hosts sit just one place above Palace in the table but crucially have a five-point buffet over them; a gap which has already all but mathematically secured their top flight safety for another season. Eight points clear of the bottom three with 12 games to go, there is surely no way that Puel’s men can be dragged into a scrap for survival but if Palace were to pull themselves up to 30 points with a victory, you’d like to think they too could start cautiously planning for another year at English football’s top table. 

With Zaha back in the fold after serving the second of his two game ban against Doncaster last weekend, it’ll be interesting to see the starting XI that Roy Hodgson opts for. To the best of my knowledge both Cheikhou Kouyaté and James Tomkins are now both back to full fitness but with Max Meyer having scored against Rovers and Jeff Schlupp getting himself on the scoresheet too, the gaffer has been given a rather pleasant selection headache ahead of our visit to the King Power Stadium. 

What starting line-up would you go with?

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  • Ben February 22, 2019 - 10:01 am Reply

    I’m going to say what a lot of people want to say and that is Meyer has got to start. The problem then becomes, who’s place does he take. To get the best from him he needs to be in a central midfield position. Obviously can’t drop the captain so that leaves Macca. I know Macca has got his detractors but I think he works incredibly hard and is probably second only to Andros in his work rate. I’m glad I’m not the manager on this one because whatever he does is going to upset some of the fans!

    • Gordon February 22, 2019 - 10:48 am Reply

      Being spoilt for choice is a rare luxury for Roy.
      I agree with you, Ben, that Meyer should start and I’m sure this would be a popular choice. Maybe more controversially, I’d also like to see Schlupp in the starting XI. If MacArthur makes way for Meyer, I think, with Zaha returning, it would have to be Ayew who loses his starting place to accommodate Schlupp. Team formats seem to morph these days, so it seems to me debatable whether we typically play a 4-3-3, 4-1-3-2 or 4-1-4-1. I tend to list the team as a 4-1-4-1 with Milivojevic as the DFM and a secondary striker (if played) within the MF 4 who (having dropped Ayew to the bench) I see as Zaha, Schlupp, Meyer & Townsend. I’d like to see Batshuayi starting a few games as CF as he’s so much more mobile than Benteke and (I hope) a better finisher.
      This would be tough on MacArthur, Ayew & Kouyate who’ve all impressed when selected, but disappointment is inevitable.

      • Rob February 22, 2019 - 12:06 pm Reply

        Mcarthur and Kouyate I would be bringing on to hold on to a win. Start with Benteke and use Michy as a sub with fresh legs closer to the end of the match.

        • Ben February 22, 2019 - 1:02 pm Reply

          Nice Gordon, very strong team. I agree with you on Schlupp as well, would deserve to start with his efforts of late.

  • Mike Ward February 22, 2019 - 10:07 am Reply

    AWB, Sakho, Tomkins, PVA
    Luka, Max, Kouyate
    Andros, Zaha

  • ee signing February 22, 2019 - 5:27 pm Reply

    I err in favour of a solid midfield given we wont have AWB I read. Give the ball to Wilf and Andros and let them provide for whoever is up top. Mike I like your side. I thought Kouyate excellent at in his cameo at Doncaster and we will need to screen our fullbacks

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