Crystal Palace are hopeful that striker Christian Benteke will be fit in time for their crucial Premier League game against Brighton on Saturday.
Benteke sat out the two all draw against Bournemouth at the weekend, due to injury. This meant that manager Roy Hodgson had no recognised strikers available to select, so opted to play both Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend up front.
Really disappointed I can’t be out there helping the team tomorrow. I picked up a slight injury in training that shouldn’t keep me out for long. The timing is frustrating but I’m sure the boys will bring 3 points home! 🦅 #CPFC pic.twitter.com/ua1zzmWOb9— Christian Benteke (@chrisbenteke) April 6, 2018
According to the Evening Standard, it is likely that Benteke will recover from his injury in time to be able to play against rivals Bighton, but, even if he is available, it is in doubt if the Palace manager will select him to start the game.
The 27-year-old has struggled in front of goal so far this season, and only has 2 goals to his name. Both Zaha and Townsend impressed in their central roles against Bournemouth, and the Palace manager may opt to keep the same attacking lineup, meaning that Benteke will have to try and make an impact from the bench if called upon.
32 - Wilfried Zaha has been directly involved in 32 Premier League goals for Crystal Palace (18 goals, 14 assists); no player has had a hand in more for the Eagles (Jason Puncheon also on 32). Pivotal.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 7, 2018
After the Bournemouth game Hodgson praised his team's attacking prowess.
“That is the best we have played going forward for a long time. Certainly the most chances we have created for a long time. The two players up front caused Bournemouth enormous problems. We created very good goal chances, not least of the four one-on-ones with the goalkeeper," he said
“Zaha was a contestant menace to the Bournemouth defence. I thought him and Townsend did very well playing up front. They have not done it for a period of time and they are not natural forwards.”
Crystal Palace are still in danger of entering the dreaded Premier League drop zone, they sit in 17th place, just three points clear of Southampton, who are in the third and final relegation spot - the Saints also have a game in hand over the Eagles.