Roy Hodgson has revealed Crystal Palace may be without three crucial first team players for this weekend’s Premier League encounter against Aston Villa due to injuries.
The Eagles have had a turbulent few days. A superb victory at Old Trafford against Manchester United on Saturday was quickly followed by a humiliating defeat on penalties at home to League Two Colchester United in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
After that defeat, Hodgson, who rang the changes, confirmed Jeffrey Schlupp, Patrick van Aanholt and Joel Ward were all absent due to injuries, casting doubts over whether they’ll be involved this weekend against Villa.
Speaking as quoted by Football London after the game, Hodgson said: “We had injuries to [Joel] Ward and [Jeffrey] Schlupp anyway, and we didn't want to take a chance on them, with others still coming back.
“I felt sorry for Sam Woods and Jairo Riedewald having to play full-backs. Sam Woods is an Under-23 centre back and he had to play right back in a fairly attacking formation in the second half, when we had a lot of the ball.
“Jairo Riedewald, who is a central midfielder, had to play at left back because neither Patrick van Aanholt or Joel Ward were available.”
Whilst the former England manager acknowledged the team he fielded should have had enough to win the match against a side who sit 17th in the League Two table, missing the likes of Schlupp and Van Aanholt was still a disappointment.
However, should Schlupp, Ward and last week’s match winner Patrick van Aanholt miss out against Villa, it would be even bigger blow for Hodgson, as he would be forced to play those with less experience in a crucial encounter against Dean Smith’s side.