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Hodgson Praises Speroni with Hennessey and Guaita Injured

19 January 2019

Roy Hodgson confirmed in his pre-match press conference yesterday that Julian Speroni is set to start as Crystal Palace face off against Liverpool today with other goalkeepers Vicente Guaita and Wayner Hennessey both unavailable due to injury.

Speroni has been with the club since 2004, and Hodgson found plenty of praise for the Argentine veteran.

He said, "Speroni is likely to start. He’s a good goalkeeper so we’re much more fortunate than many clubs to have a goalkeeper of his quality and experience as third choice. We’ve got a man who’s played over 400 times for Palace and he’s in very good shape."

However, the popular shot-stopper hasn't played for Palace in over a year, though Hodgson stated that his lack of game time hasn't worried him and explained how common it can be for a goalkeeper to end up supporting a first-choice teammate without playing regularly themselves.

He said, "Often they’re behind a goalkeeper who's buttoned down his position, there are lots and lots of examples of that. If you [the second or third-choice 'keeper] happen to be behind them, chances are when you get your chance people will say, 'he hasn't played'.

"Julian is a very, very active goalkeeper, certainly in our training sessions. I don't notice any difference in him from when he played a year ago; I’m happy that we’ve got him. He’s looking forward to it, he has confidence in himself, he's got great pride in what he’s achieved, particularly with this club where he’s an absolute legend in every respect. He’ll be working hard to make sure he stays in contention even when the other two are back."

And turning his attention to the other two - Guaita and Hennessey - Hodgson provided a brief update on their progress.

"They’re making very good progress but of course it’s too early for them to play this game. We’re working hard but there’s no timescale because the medical department can’t be 100% certain with muscle strains. We’re working hard on it. We’ll take it week by week and see if we can get them fit for next week and if not then, then the week after."

Palace will play Liverpool at 15.00 at Anfield today, and you can listen to full commentary of the game for just £1.49 via Palace Audio.

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