Wilfried Zaha’s gamble to play for Crystal Palace despite calf strain backfires at Anfield

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has revealed that Wilfried Zaha pushed to play in tonight’s 4-0 loss at Liverpool – in the hope he could battle on despite nursing a calf strain.

The Ivory Coast international was substituted off in the early exchanges at Anfield.

And Zaha is now a doubt to feature on Monday against Burnley at Selhurst Park. Christian Benteke and Vicente Guaita missed sat out the one-sided defeat on Merseyside due to muscle injuries.

Hodgson said: “There was some discussion between him, myself and the doctors about whether or not he should not even attempt to play. But he was adamant he wanted to try it. He was hoping it wasn’t that serious and it was something he could get away with.

“But it was obvious after 10 minutes, or less than that, that he wasn’t going to do that. We got him off as quickly as we could then because we don’t really want to be without him for long periods of time.

“It’s like all these strains – with Benteke’s on Saturday we didn’t think that was going to be particularly worrisome at all, and the same with Guaita. But, as it turns out, both are still feeling it the day before the game and you can’t use them.

“One has to be so careful at this particular time of the year and we particularly do. As you can see we just don’t have the squad, we just don’t have the numbers or the bodies. When our front players go down we don’t have the replacements for them – because we’ve got four forwards in the club competing for three places.”


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