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First Team

Team news: Palace unchanged as McCarthy returns to squad v Chelsea

10 April 2021

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Roy Hodgson has named an unchanged starting XI for the third match running as the Eagles take on Chelsea this afternoon, making two tweaks to his 20-man squad.

With Michy Batshuayi ineligible to face his parent club, Hodgson has been able to name James McCarthy back in the Palace squad. McCarthy has recently returned to full fitness, as confirmed by Hodgson pre-match.

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Roy Hodgson discusses Crystal Palace's run-in and opponents Chelsea

9 April 2021

The starting XI remains untouched, however, with Hodgson fielding the same side that kicked-off in a win over West Bromwich Albion and the recent draw with Everton.

Also on the bench is 18-year-old Academy midfielder Jesurun Rak-Sakyi. Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Hodgson said of the young prospect: "We believe at Crystal Palace that he has a big future and will get better and better.

"He's certainly started in the right way because being thrown-in to first-team training... to make the impression he's made and get the senior players all around him to appreciate his talents is no mean achievement."

Rak-Sakyi has enjoyed success with the Under-18s this season and has more recently competed with the Under-23s. He replaces Reece Hannam in the matchday squad.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have made five changes from the XI which fell to West Brom. Thiago Silva received a red card in that clash and is replaced by Antonio Rudiger in defence.

Elsewhere, Ben Chilwell, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz are named ahead of Reece James, Marcos Alonso, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. The four start on the bench.

Palace: Guaita, Van Aanholt, Cahill, Kouyate, Ward, Milivojevic, Riedewald, Eze, Ayew, Zaha, Benteke.

Subs: Butland, Mitchell, Dann, Kelly, McCarthy, Schlupp, Townsend, Rak-Sakyi, Mateta.

Chelsea: Mendy, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Chilwell, Zouma, Kovacic, Jorginho, Mount, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Havertz.

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