Sam Allardyce has revealed that James McArthur and Patrick van Aanholt are struggling to be fit for tomorrow’s game against Chelsea, while Fraizer Campbell has picked up a training ground knock.
The Eagles may head to Stamford Bridge without the trio, but there is better new in that Mathieu Flamini has returned to full fitness while none of Palace’s five international stars have picked up any injuries while away with their countries.
Speaking ahead of the game against Antonio Conte’s league leaders, Allardyce said: “Mathieu Flamini is back training, but Patrick van Aanholt is still injured at the moment and we picked up an injury this week to Fraizer Campbell.
“James McArthur is still struggling a bit with his back spasms but they’re the only doubts around the squad, and obviously we have a couple of long-term injuries.
“The international players came back fit from international duty which is important, especially now we’re running into almost like a Christmas period in April where we’re forced to play seven games in the month.”
Allardyce is under no illusions as to how difficult it’ll be for his side against the Blues, but he believes that if his side show discipline in defence and a cutting edge in attack, then they could leave west London with all three points, just as they did last season when they won 2-1.
“It’s a big challenge because they’re top of the league, but it’s not an impossible one for us to get a result," the Eagles gaffer revealed. "We have to play to our best, there’s no doubt about that, and every man will have to be on top of his form and very aware tactically of what we need to do in and out of possession, plus we’ll have to make few mistakes because Chelsea are masters of punishing them.
“Therefore, all areas of the field will have to be on top form on Saturday and if we get a chance then we have to try and score. We’ll be pegged back for periods but if we get opportunities then we have to be very clinical because I don’t think there will be too many. If we do that, then we could upset the Premier League leaders but it is a big game for us to try and get a point in, or three.”