Roy Hodgson speaks ahead of Newcastle – At least 3 out injured and thinks unlikely to be a 6-5 match
Roy Hodgson has met the media on Friday afternoon.
The Palace boss speaking to reporters ahead of the game at Selhurst Park.
The clubs only separated by one point and one place, Newcastle dropping to 14th if they lose.
Roy Hodgson hoping to have better luck than at St James Park in December, the Palace couldn’t believe his team didn’t win never mind the fact they lost. The visitors dominating but Dubravka and bad finishing keeping Newcastle in the game and Almiron supplying the sucker punch with the winner on 83 minutes, his first goal for NUFC.
Saturday sees the lowest scorers (Palace – 23 goals) playing the second lowest (Newcastle – 24 goals).
It is also two very out of form clubs, Newcastle winning only one of eight PL games since beating Palace and the hosts on a run of one PL victory in eleven games.
No wonder Roy Hodgson thinks the game will very likely be 1-0 or 2-0, rather than 6-5…
Indeed, with Newcastle scoring only seven in their last ten league matches and Crystal Palace only nine in their last eleven PL games, no surprise if there are no goals at all.
Roy Hodgson has confirmed that first choice centre-backs James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho are unavailable. as is Jeffrey Schlupp.
However, loan striker Cenk Tosun is now available for selection.
The loan striker was allegedly offered to Newcastle in January and NUFC turned him down, Steve Bruce saying at the end of the transfer window there was nobody better out there than what he already had.
Cenk Tosun has one goal in two PL starts for Palace and two in four PL starts with also a goal for Everton.
Earlier today, Steve Bruce admitted that he doesn’t think one goal in 26 PL appearances Joelinton is a ‘natural goalscorer’, no doubt many Newcastle fans are taking for granted that Tosun will score the winner tomorrow…
Roy Hodgson speaking at his pre-Newcastle press conference:
“We don’t have many 6-5s these days, do we?
“Most games seem to be 1-0 or 2-0 events and I don’t see any particular event on the horizon to suggest this [Palace v Newcastle] won’t be that type of game.
“Both teams know how to defend and both teams are fully aware that once you concede a goal it’s very hard to score at the other end.
“The only stats that interest me are the points we get per game and our position in the table.
“When we come off the field, how many points have we got from this game?
“I see the global picture, we work hard every game knowing we need to work hard every game to score goals and keep them [the opposition] out.
“Every game I hope we do it right at both ends.
“Of course you don’t play games in your imagination but I can certainly assure our fans we work very hard on both aspects [attacking and defending].
“We have the firepower to score more goals than we have so far.
“We had our turning point from being very, very successful to the last three games being unsuccessful.
“We’d like to put an end to that little sequence and start winning and drawing more games than we have in the last few weeks.
“We started so well and have had the brakes put on particularly by injury and partly by misfortune. At one stage when we were flying high we were hoping to finish in the top half and, at the moment, I don’t see any reason why we should abandon that hope.
“There have been a lack of options in recent weeks, very much so, because the injury list has been so big. Like all managers I’m more than happy to use the bench available if I think the players on that bench are able to help us out.
“But recently it’s been defenders or it’s been Under-23 players with very little experience and the games haven’t been games I feel it’s right to throw them into the fray.
“If all goes well tomorrow we’ll have 16 senior outfielders and two senior goalkeepers, so that will be the first time we’ve had an 18 with no players coming back from injury or Under-23s.
“James Tomkins is added to the [injury] list but Cenk Tosun is now back fit again.
“We won’t have James Tomkins, we won’t have Jeffrey Schlupp and we won’t have Mamadou Sakho, so they are the three definite absentees.
“We have been hit this week unfortunately by a bit of sickness, so there are also a couple of players who maybe aren’t at their absolute best.
“We might have to make a late decision on which of those may be fit to start and who may have to be on the bench.
“It is two players with sickness and fever and I have no reason to believe it is a virus, it is two separate incidents.”
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