After a hectic, but successful Christmas period for Crystal Palace and Roy Hodgson where they continued their good league form, the FA Cup third round now takes priority as they face fierce rivals Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex stadium tomorrow evening.
But their good form over the festive period has come at a hefty price with a growing injury list causing concern for Hodgson.
Injury problems mean Hodgson will have to tinker on Monday night
The team are already without Joel Ward, Mamadou Sakho, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to injury, and that was further compounded as Scott Dann and Jason Puncheon sustained serious injuries against City. It means Palace have got a bit of an injury crisis on their hands.
And with a big grudge match against Brighton almost here, Hodgson doesn’t have too many options available to him for what will be a big game on the south-coast.
"On top of that [Ward, Sakho and Loftus-Cheek being injured] we have other knocks with the two games in two days. I'm going to be very limited in my choice of players for Monday's game,” admitted the former England manager.
He carried onto say: "Our squad is fairly thin on the ground, I don't have that tremendous luxury of swapping people in and out, so we have to be careful with view to league matches that follow. But I believe we will still have a strong team out.”
With the injuries, Palace haven’t had the luxury of being able to chop and change in recent games, and such has been the success of the team, Hodgson has decided to stick, rather than twist – but on Monday he will have no choice.
Hodgson is looking forward to Monday as long as trouble stays away
Out of the many third round games that have been played this weekend, this game has a particular edge to it, and the Eagles boss admits he is looking forward to the game. But he doesn’t want a repeat of the trouble that happened in the league encounter back in November.
“It’s good to have a derby of particular importance to the fans. And it’s good for football and the club – as long as you don’t get that hooliganism we all deplore,” said the 70-year-old.
Out of the all the teams Palace could have potentially got, you wouldn’t have thought Brighton would be the opponents. But nonetheless Palace will have to deal with what’s put in front of them.