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Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace picked up just their 4th point of the season last weekend as they managed to hold West Ham United, another struggling club, to a 2-2 draw. The Eagles are back in action this weekend in one of the toughest games of the season for them, as a trip to Wembley awaits.
Tottenham Hotspur managed to register a historic victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League and will be high on confidence, leaving Palace to work really hard to even keep the scoreline respectable. However, stranger things have happened in football and here is how Hodgson might field his side to try and stun the hosts in this mini-derby:
Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham remain sidelined for this tie for Hodgson. James McArthur and Mamadou Sakho could yet be back for this game but Patrick van Aanholt and Lee Chung-Yong are both expected to miss out.
Though Speroni started the previous game, Hennessey is a better option and Hodgson should not experiment too much in this crunch game.
The first choice full-back for Palace, Ward has been decent but needs to be at his best against the likes of Son and Eriksen.
Arguably Palace’s best defender this season, Dann will be expected to shoulder a lot of responsibility for the Eagles this weekend.
With Sakho out injured, Hodgson should stick with the trusted pairing of Dann and Tomkins, who will need to play out of their skins to stop Harry Kane.
Van Aanholt has been decent this season but is now out with an injury, forcing Hodgson to use Schlupp, who has been used as a winger this season, at left-back.
The youngster has found some momentum playing on the right-hand side of the midfield and will continue to start for Palace in this position.
Cabaye has failed to show any consistency in the middle of the pitch but he needs to step up his game against an energetic Spurs side.
Though not at his best, Milivojevic is Hodgson’s best choice in midfield and should stick with him for this crunch clash.
With Schlupp pushed to the backline, Puncheon should get a chance to start on the left-hand side of the midfield this weekend.
The saviour for Palace recently, Zaha has added some spark to his side’s attack and should play as a supporting striker.
Playing up front should be Andros Townsend, who has been more effective in this role, than he has been on the wing this season.