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Puncheon Returns From Suspension

16 December 2016

Jason Puncheon's return from suspension is the only real change to the Palace squad for the game against Chelsea on Saturday, Alan Pardew confirmed.

The creative midfielder missed the 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United on Wednesday night having collected five bookings, but will be available for selection against the Blues.

His return is a welcome one for Pardew, who has seen Mathieu Flamini join the list of those first team players ruled out of action.

"We do have injuries, unfortunately, which is putting a strain on our squad," he said. "We must have 10 or 11 senior players [injured] and Mathieu got injured the other night [against United], so we have got a bit of a strain on our squad, but there's no reason we can't improve on that.

"We get Punch back from suspension, but obviously it is a strain with the tight schedule over Christmas, four or five big games for us, so it's important we don't lose anyone Saturday. We're comfortable at the moment but we wouldn't want to lose anyone else.

"He's a big part of the team, in terms of his character and he knows what playing for Palace is about."

To watch the full press conference CLICK HERE.

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