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Hodgson explains 'precautionary' starting XI v West Ham

16 December 2020

Speaking with Amazon Prime Video before Crystal Palace's clash with West Ham United, manager Roy Hodgson explained his three changes to the Eagles' starting XI, revealing his decisions were precautionary rather than forced.

First Team

Team news: West Ham United v Crystal Palace

16 December 2020

Asked if he was influenced by injury or simply the congested festive schedule, Hodgson replied: "It's a bit of both. We are concerned about Gary, in particular with the three games where he came back and did so well after the hamstring injury he picked up in the post-lockdown period.

"So I suppose that's precautionary and to some extent the same with Nathaniel Clyne, as well.

"Jeff Schlupp took quite a nasty kick in the Tottenham game. It's true, he could have probably played and he can play in the game but with Andros Townsend fully fit and ready to go, I thought it was the right decision to make that change.

"All three could have played but I think we have three players who could do as good a job [in their place]."

Hodgson then briefly discussed his 'selection headache' as he is forced to pick and chose from a highly competitive and largely fit squad.

He said: "It's the sort of headache all managers wish for and look forward to. It's not something I'm complaining about... It's never easy when you have so many good players and you've seen them do a very good job for you in the past in your team but you've got to leave them out. Occasionally we've even had to leave them out of the 18-man squad."

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