Crystal Palace are in the midst of a horrific run of form, winning just two games in their last thirteen. Hodgson's Eagles have been hindered by injuries to key players, which has seen them play some dreadful football.

Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze have played just two games together this season, which has played a huge part in Crystal Palace's ability to create chances and thus play any form of attacking football.

Last time out, Palace were decimated 5-0 by London rivals Arsenal; however, ten days without a game have allowed Palace to nurse numerous players back to fitness and strengthen their squad for the second half of the season.

Palace face Sheffield United under the lights at Selhurst Park as they look to improve their form, climb the table, and steer clear of the relegation zone.

Team News

Crystal Palace have struggled through a season full of injuries to key players such as Cheick Doucouré, Eberechi Eze, and Michael Olise.

Additionally, in recent weeks, Palace has been hindered by the absence of Jordan Ayew due to the Africa Cup of Nations. However, Ghana's early exit has meant that the Crystal Palace winger is nearing a return, bolstering Hodgson's attacking options.

Hodgson provided an update on Michael Olise, who has been missing for just over four weeks.

"He’s available; he’s trained now, and we will see. Obviously, we have to be careful if the sports science people are urging caution, but we’ll see. He himself feels he’s fine, so I don’t have any concerns myself, but we will have to keep an eye on it because it’s been quite a long time since he’s played the last game."

It's huge news for a Palace side who have failed to score since the Frenchman was sidelined, which could lead to an instant upturn in their attacking fortunes.

Further, Hodgson provided a general update on the state of his squad, which was extremely positive.

"Our injury situation, funnily enough, is pretty good; it’s a stark contrast to how it was a few weeks ago. The only players that we can’t call upon at the moment are the two that had operations: Cheick Doucoure and Rob Holding."

Hodgson also hinted that Crystal Palace's captain, Joel Ward, is edging ever closer to a return.

"Joel Ward is still not back to full fitness, but he’s actually quite close now, so I don’t think it’ll be long before we get him back as well."

Vital Six-Pointer at Selhurst

The Eagles boss downplayed the importance of the season-defining game at Selhurst Park, expressing his bermusement as to what a must-win game is.

“I've never fully understood what the answer to people asking the question ‘is this a must-win game?’ is, because most games you go into, you desperately want to win them, and saying it's a must-win game doesn't win it for you.

“We're only going to win it if we play well and we're better than the opposition.

Hodgson stressed that it was going to be no easy feat against Sheffield United, who are desperately clinging to any hope of Premier League survival.

“They also are in a situation where they need points on the board, even more so than we do, so I'm pretty sure they're looking at it and thinking, ‘This is a game against a team in the same ballpark as we are ourselves, and this is a game that we need to win.’

High praise for Wilder's Blades

Hodgson praised Chris Wilders Sheffield United side, emphasising that his Palace side must not underrate their opposition based on their position in the table.

“Don't underestimate teams anywhere in this league. This league is still a tight one, even if at the moment you could be tempted, I guess, to saw off Sheffield United and Burnley, but you'll never get a coach whose job it is to prepare his team to play Sheffield United and Burnley, and people have already sawn off Luton so many times at their peril.”

The Palace boss went on to praise the Blades recent performances, highlighting their recent misfortune and reiterating how difficult a proposition Chris Wilder's side will be on Tuesday night.

“I saw them having incredible bad luck to lose a home game against Luton where I thought they were clearly the team that was going to win it, and I thought for large, large spells against West Ham, who are having a great season, they caused them all sorts of problems and could quite so easily have won the game.

“So as far as I'm concerned, we're playing a team that can go out against Luton, can go out against Chelsea, can go out against West Ham, and give them very, very tough games and could so easily have won them.

Harsh, but fair?

Hodgson expressed his sorrow after the fans brutally turned on the club during their defeat away at Arsenal last weekend. Palace fans demonstrated their unhappiness with the club's board via a banner that read, “Wasted potential on and off the pitch. Weak decisions are taking us backwards."

"It’s a harsh banner; we weren’t very happy that those feelings were made clear. And we’re disappointed because we need our fans, and they’ve been so good to us through the years, so if they’re showing some signs of discontentment, that’s something we’ve got to really take into consideration."

Crystal Palace fans feel as if there is a huge disconnect between the fans and the club, and Saturday's banner was a long time coming.

Hodgson went on to discuss the generic nature of the banner, giving the feeling that it wasn't aimed at him nor the decision to keep him in post, but the structure of the club in general.

"But it was quite a generic banner, and there were quite a few things referred to in that banner, so I suppose at some stage they will make their feeling even clearer to the people at the club."