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First Team

Benteke, Loftus-Cheek & Tomkins Out

29 September 2017

Roy Hodgson revealed more injury setbacks at his pre-match press conference as he prepares his squad for the match against Manchester United on Saturday.

He revealed that apart from the expected absentees Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke, he announced that both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and James Tomkins will not be making the journey either this weekend. 

"I'm afraid there are a lot of injuries, which is bad news for us. Benteke you know about and he will be out for six weeks and Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a thigh strain whilst James Tomkins is sick so he is also out. 

"Zaha's injury is very similar to the one Christian has picked up. It has taken him six weeks to get back with us and hopefully he will be back with us in the international break, but tomorrow is too early for him, no question."

Timothy Fosu-Mensah is also out as he cannot play against his parent club. 

With Benteke out there is an opportunity for possible inclusion for Bakary Sako and Freddie Ladapo. 

Sako scored the winner in the recent Carabao Cup victory against Huddersfield Town and the manager knows the player will be keen to take his chance if it comes along. 

"He was bought from Wolves as a goal scorer. He’s a powerful man, and a powerful left foot. Not a lot of experience playing as a striker though and I don’t have that level of knowledge about him – it’s up to him to show us what he can do."

24 year old Ladapo is also one who comes into contention for a place in the squad. 

"He’s been training with the first team for quite a while. He’s a good athlete and hard worker.  He is an unknown quality having not played many games and in the current situation where we don’t have the cover or the back up, he is a centre forward and training well so that puts him in the frame."

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