Roy Hodgson has addressed the absence of his captain Luka Milivojevic before Crystal Palace face West Ham United, explaining that while he is disappointed to lose the Serbian midfielder, he is fortunate to have numerous options for his replacement.
After collecting five yellow cards since starting the 2019/20 campaign in August, Milivojevic has been dealt a one-match suspension.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Hodgson discussed an area of the field where Palace are well-stocked despite the 28-year-old's absence, with centre-midfielders Max Meyer, James McCarthy and Victor Camarasa all not starting against Norwich City last Saturday.
Hodgson said: "Luckily in the midfield area we do have options, we have possibilities there. It’s not an area we’re short of options. It’s simply a case of replacing him with another midfield player, though we’re disappointed to lose him because he’s such an important cog in our wheel. He’s not one we’d want to lose going into a game of this magnitude."
Asked specifically whether summer signing Camarasa is likely to feature in Hodgson's chosen lineup, the manager was somewhat evasive, saying: "We’ll have to wait and see. He [Camarasa] is one of the midfielders we’ve got that we could possibly use. We’ll have to wait and see which one I’ll use tomorrow."
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