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First Team

Hodgson confirms Benteke's availability and 'one or two' returning to fitness

24 September 2020

Roy Hodgson today confirmed that Christian Benteke is available for selection against Everton, after the Belgium international played 45 minutes for Crystal Palace Under-23s on Monday.

The Palace manager briefly touched on his squad's improving fitness, and was positive about the general state of affairs following the club's summer arrivals.

First Team

Hodgson evaluates Everton's transfer window under friend Carlo Ancelotti

24 September 2020

He said: "Christian Benteke has been training all of this week so that’s someone I could count on of course for the game. One or two others have started to make an appearance but it’s a very brief appearance - not much beyond the warmup and any non-contact passing work."

Hodgson continued, asked how he feels the competition provided by Eberechi Eze and Michy Batshuayi has bolstered not only his attacking options but existing players' attacking drive, too.

"I enjoy it from the club’s point of view and players’ point of view," he said. "Because there’s no doubt players need that edge on keeping their standard to the high level that’s required.

"Competition for places is good for everyone at the football club and certainly as the manager. We’ve long since come away from believing football is an 11-man game, especially during lockdown when we were getting used to it being a 16-man game... The quality of your bench becomes of vital importance.

"We’ve been able to bring in players to bring in competition to our attacking phase of play. In Eberechi Eze and Michy Batshuayi we have players to score and make goals."

READ NEXT: Palace Preview: How in-form frontlines are crucial in Palace’s Everton clash

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