Zaha and Townsend up front against Huddersfield? Hodgson on his Palace striker dilemma

BY SAM SMITH

Roy Hodgson has considered reverting to the makeshift front two of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend for tomorrow’s game against Huddersfield.

First-choice striker Christian Benteke has been ruled out with a knee injury which he suffered before joining the Belgium national squad for the recent international break.

The former Liverpool man partnered Jordan Ayew in Palace’s 2-0 defeat to Southampton just before players jetted away.

Hodgson has considered each of his options to replace the stricken striker, including using Zaha and Townsend.

“All my forward options are [wanting to start]. Alexander Sorloth for sure, also Sullay Kaikai is chomping at the bit to get a start as well. All the players who I am working with at the moment, the ones who can play in that centre forward role, are desperate to start. They’re desperate to impress upon me and make sure I select them.

“If I have to choose one I’ll have three to choose from. This is unless I decide to go with Wilf and Andros up front, which we have done in the past and it has worked. We were always concerned for a period of last season when we didn’t have a fit out-and-out centre forward that our only option was to play with Wilf and Andros [as a strike pair].

“We wanted the option of having Wilf and Andros elsewhere and they answered their challenge in a fantastic way and knowing that the two of them are capable of playing up front is always going to be in our minds.

“How we’re going to re-organise the team and work around his [Benteke’s] absence, you’ll have to wait and see on that.”


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