An international break is often something that can bring a grimace to a medical staff's faces, with it being notorious for bringing injuries back to the squad. On top of this, COVID-19 has plagued squads with unavailable players and due to the vast amount of air miles travelled by the teams, they are subject to catching the virus.
This has proved true for Palace, as they are without midfielder Luka Milivojevic who tested positive for the virus whilst in Serbia. He is currently self-isolating, so therefore not available for selection.
He is also still serving a ban for his red card against Wolves so will not be available for a number of weeks. Eberechi Eze is also a doubt, after being sent home from the England squad as a ‘precaution’, although Roy Hodgson does not think he will be out for an extended period of time (cpfc.co.uk). Joel Ward, Tyrick Mitchell and James Tomkins are “all fit” (cpfc.co.uk) and could have the potential of playing on Monday evening.
Roy Hodgson faces some tough decisions over his starting XI against Burnley.
This is VAVEL UK’s predicted Crystal Palace starting XI.
Goalkeeper – Vicente Guaita
Vicente Guaita has become a certain name on The Eagles’ team sheet, backing the decision up with impressive saves and an air of calmness in defence. Starting all 8 games this season, he is a name that almost certainly will be part of the XI.
Right-back – Nathaniel Clyne
After a nervous-looking start to his return, Clyne has grown into his position in the starting squad, showing why he deserved his second chance at Palace. With Joel Ward out with an injury, Clyne was called upon to fill in the spot where Ward has so dominantly occupied. However, with some impressive performances of late, could we be seeing a change happening in defence? Due to Ward only recently being back from injury, it is expected that Clyne will start the game.
Centre-back – Scott Dann
Given the fact that Scott Dann put in a memorable performance against Leeds last time out, getting a goal and showing solidarity at the back - it would seem hard for Hodgson to bench the 33-year-old due to his current form. Burnley are a very physical side, so having Dann’s presence at the back will be a great positive for Palace.
Centre-back – Cheikhou Kouyate
Having a defensive midfielder that can also play centre-back is always a great asset for any club. None more so than Crystal Palace, with most of their injuries going in that area of the team this season. Kouyate has filled in on many occasions and applied himself to the position, becoming a solid defender at the back.
With another great performance from him last game, and other centre-backs only just coming back from injury, it is likely we will see Kouyate back there for at least one more game.
Left-back – Patrick van Aanholt
After a busy international break with The Netherlands, Patrick van Aanholt will certainly be warmed up for Burnley, provided that his COVID-19 test comes back negative and he is available to play. Since returning from his injury and fellow left-back, Tyrick Mitchell, picking up an injury of his own, van Aanholt has become regular again in his defensive position. With Mitchell only just returning to training, van Aanholt will be the first choice left-back.
Right-midfield – Andros Townsend
Andros Townsend has been impressing fans recently with a noticeable uplift in quality and effort in his game. With little-to-no competition out on the right, Townsend will be confident of a starting spot given the plethora of impressive games recently.
Centre-midfield – Jaïro Riedewald
The maestro in the middle of the field has become a fan-favourite since the beginning of this season, picking up October’s player of the month award for some outstanding performances. He has become a vital player in the squad and plays with evident class, a definite for Monday.
Centre-midfield – James McArthur
Another definite for a start when he is available for selection. McArthur is a respected player amongst the fans and fellow players for his immaculate performances and effort levels. A true box-to-box midfielder who would be a great miss if he was left out. Expect to see him playing.
Left-midfield – Jeffrey Schlupp
Given that Roy Hodgson has hinted that Eze may not be match-fit, Palace fans should prepare for his name in the starting XI to be replaced by a very fitting candidate. In no way is a Schlupp a ‘replacement’ – more a competitor for the place on the right. His blistering pace and dribbling could cause a problem to the Burnley backline.
Striker – Wilfried Zaha
Perhaps an argument for the most certain name to be on the pitch on Monday, Wilfried Zaha. Palace’s number 11 is not only certain to play when he’s fit, but also certain to perform, after an electric start to the season. He will be the first player on the team sheet for Roy Hodgson and he will be looking to him for another big performance.
Striker – Jordan Ayew
Perhaps the most hotly contested spot in the team at the moment, picking between Michy Batshuayi and Jordan Ayew must be the hardest decision for Hodgson to make. However, given that Ayew got a goal last time out, he will probably be at the forefront of the selection possibilities. There is no real reason to drop him and so because of that, expect to see him given the start.
Subs: Butland, Cahill, Sakho, Benteke, Batshuayi, Eze, Woods.