Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson admits that the Eagles will be hoping “on a wing and a prayer” that Wilfried Zaha’s injury is not too serious. Zaha hobbled off early on in Crystal Palace’s 4-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield, with the Ivory Coast international going off with a suspected calf problem. His injury adds to a growing list of problems for Palace boss Roy Hodgson, who was already without the injured trio of James Tomkins, Jeffrey Schlupp and Martin Kelly going into the game. Goalkeeper Vicente Guaita and Christian Benteke were also not involved at Anfield, due to fears over muscle strains, with the Eagles not taking any risks with seven games still to play in the Premier League season. And Hodgson has given updates on the trio following the game against Liverpool, with Palace next in action against Burnley at Selhurst Park on Monday.
Roy Hodgson said “I can imagine that both [Benteke and Zaha] will be getting assessed up until Sunday, the day before the game. We know that [Christian] Benteke definitely has a strain that has been diagnosed, so he will be battling to be fit for that. With Wilf [Zaha] we don’t know the extent yet until we have had a scan, so we are really on a wing and a prayer hoping that we won’t be without them. We know it is a calf problem, but we don’t know the extent of it. We know that the squad is small and to lose four before the mini season and now another two, to be frank we haven’t got the strength in the squad to deal with that easily. Yes, it was a thigh strain (Guaita), Of course the problem with that is kicking. I wouldn’t have been as concerned with him moving around in goal, but it was the kicking and we were frightened that if we took that chance and he kicked the ball a couple of times, that slight thigh strain could become a definite tear and then of course, he would be out for a long period of time. We can’t afford, apart from the three who have been out for a long time, we can’t really afford to add more players to that, because we don’t have the bodies with the experience for this level of football. It was always going to be hard against their pressurising and to ask them questions, but they pressurised us so well and any attacks we did have fizzled out early on.”