Tonight could see Patrick van Aanholt and Timothy Fosu-Mensah play against England for Holland in Amsterdam, but a Palace player turning out against the Three Lions isn’t as unusual as you might think.
In fact more players have played against England than the 13 that have won caps for them during their time in south London. 19 players have lined up against the national side, with the Dutch duo possibly adding to that number this evening.
Unsurprisingly the majority come from the home nations, with nine representing Wales. Billy Davies [below], the club’s first ever international player, was also the first to play against the English six years after his first cap in 1914 when he would play in a Home Championship fixture in Cardiff where his side lost 2-0.
Joseph “Tom” Jones would play twice against the English in 1921 and 1922 without tasting success and then in 1964 Tony Millington won a cap in a 2-1 defeat at Wembley. Ian Evans would turn out three times against England during the same decade, losing at Wrexham and Cardiff (with Palace’s Peter Taylor playing for the opposite side) before Wales finally had a winning Eagle against their neighbours when Evans’ side were 1-0 victors at Wembley.
In 1980 Palace boasted two players in the Welsh side when Peter Nicholas and Ian Walsh [below] featured in a famous 4-1 Home Championship win at the Racecourse Ground with the latter getting on the scoresheet against Kenny Sansom’s men, and Walsh would also play in a goalless draw a year later.
Other representatives from the home nations come in the form of Robert McCracken who played in Northern Ireland’s 2-0 defeat in 1920 and a goalless draw the following year, and Barry Bannan came on as a 61st minute substitute in Scotland’s 3-1 defeat at Hampden Park in 2014.
Venturing outside the British Isles, in October 2000 the on-loan Mikael Forssell helped Finland to a 0-0 draw against Kevin Keegan’s England in a 2002 World Cup qualifier, and the following year Aki Riihilahti [below] lined up at Anfield in what was Sven Goran Eriksson’s first competitive game in charge.
The Palace midfielder opened the scoring before goals from David Beckham and Michael Owen turned the game on its head. Forssell and future Eagle Shefqi Kuqi would also appear from the bench before Eriksson would gain a 2-1 win.
Tony Popovic also scored against England in a 3-1 friendly win for Australia in February 2003, and another pair of Eagles played for Hungary in their 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford in the build-up to 2006 World Cup. Sandor Torghelle appeared from the bench with Gabor Kiraly [below] playing the full game between the posts and saving a Frank Lampard penalty.
In recent years, there have been many more occurrences of this anomaly with a number of Palace representatives turning out against England during Roy Hodgson’s four-year tenure in charge of the Three Lions.
Yohan Cabaye played in a friendly at Wembley in November 2015 before Mile Jedinak [below] broke the club’s all-time cap record when he played for Australia in a pre-Euro 2016 warm-up game against England at Sunderland on what was his 37th appearance for his nation as an Eagle.
The following month a trio of Eagles feature in Wales’ 2-1 defeat in the group stages of the tournament - Wayne Hennessey, Joe Ledley and Jonny Williams, and following Hodgson’s departure at the end of the competition, James McArthur played in both of Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers against the Auld Enemy in November 2016 and March 2017.