Premier League: Crystal Palace vs Leeds

The two clubs have made identical starts to the season, with three wins, three defeats and a draw each, leaving them in mid table after seven games, but both suffered disappointing defeats last time out.

Palace were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Wolves at Molineux, and midfielder Luka Milivojevic was sent off for a late challenge on Joao Moutinho, meaning he will serve a three-match ban after an unsuccessful appeal. Roy Hodgson was livid with the referee’s decision, and it now means the Eagles squad is stretched even thinner, with their injury troubles still proving problematic.

Centre-back pair Gary Cahill and James Tomkins are both struggling after calf and heel injuries respectively, meaning Cheikhou Kouyate and Scott Dann are likely to continue at the back.

Tyrick Mitchell and Joel Ward are also missing, while new signing Nathan Ferguson and long-serving goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey miss out too.

There’s positive news in the shape of James McCarthy though, as the Irish midfielder could return after a thigh injury. He could form the McCarthy/McArthur midfield pair, as the Scotland international is expected to deputise for Milivojevic.

Jordan Ayew and Jack Butland are available again after positive coronavirus tests and should be involved.

Leeds have been hit by the virus as well, with record signing Rodrigo ruled out after a positive test. The Spanish international will now isolate under Premier League protocol and miss the trip to the capital.

Kalvin Phillips remains sidelined with a shoulder injury which is expected to keep him out until December, while Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw are also long-term absentees.

New signing Diego Llorente is still to make his debut for the club and will miss out with an injury suffered while on international duty.

Raphinha has been struggling with an ankle injury and a late decision will be made on him, but wholesale changes aren’t expected to the Leeds side that started the 4-1 defeat to Leicester City last weekend.

Top scorer Patrick Bamford will continue up front and hope he can show Gareth Southgate more of what he can do after missing out on the latest England squad, while midfield creators Pablo Hernandez, Jack Harrison and Helder Costa will be tasked with providing the ammunition for the former Chelsea striker.

Crystal Palace take on Leeds United at Selhurst Park on Saturday, November 7th. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Crystal Palace youngster Tyrick Mitchell hoping to take his chance amidst injury crisis

The Eagles travel to recently-relegated Bournemouth in the second round of the Carabao Cup, with the winner at the Vitality Stadium travelling to holders Manchester City in round three.

Mitchell, 21, made his first-team debut in July and is one player likely to retain his place from the Palace side that opened the Premier League season with a 1-0 win over Southampton on Saturday.

Speaking after the game, Mitchell said each appearance is helping him become more confident as he looks to make the left-back slot at Selhurst Park his own.

“I feel every game I am getting more confident, more positive when I play,” he told the club’s official website.

“It was a weird one, before I was just there training but after playing a couple of matches and being on the bench so many times I actually feel like part of the squad and it is a good feeling, especially going into the matches it is a confidence booster.”

While manager Roy Hodgson admits he will shuffle his pack on the south coast, he does not have many options in defence due to a host of injuries.

But he was full of praise for Mitchell – as well as Scott Dann, Cheikhou Kouyate and Joel Ward – for keeping Saints at bay.

“We thought he looked good but he got injured so a lot of his time last season was spent injured, he got fit again just before the Covid lockdown,” Hodgson said of Mitchell.

“He was lucky enough to get back in towards the end of the season, has been excellent in all the pre-season games and he seems to be becoming more and more comfortable.

“I thought he dealt with them (Southampton) as did the whole back four, we talk a lot about the back players we have got out injured but we should really be speaking about how well this back four is doing for us.”

Palace face a tough trip to Manchester United next weekend, looking to make it back to back wins at Old Trafford following a 2-1 success last year.

With Hodgson currently unable to call on Patrick van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho, James Tomkins, Gary Cahill, Connor Wickham, Christian Benteke, Jairo Riedewald or Nathan Ferguson he admits he is down to the bare bone and can ill-afford any further injury setbacks.

“I am concerned how this group of players who have done so well for me, this 11 and the substitutes, how they will carry on if we get further injuries,” he added.

“If you could guarantee these guys will get through the next four games and we will have the same team as we had (against Southampton) I don’t think it is a major problem, but I am concerned

we don’t have enough quality and bodies behind us to cover further injuries or suspension.”

Crystal Palace grab 1-0 Premier League opening day win over Southampton

The Saints were the brighter of the two sides in the opening stages, with Vicente Guaita called into action to deny Jack Stephens and Danny Ings early on.

Palace were more than happy to let their visitors enjoy the bulk of possession, and the counter attacking threat of Zaha worked perfectly on 14 minutes.

James McCarthy’s tackle sent Andros Townsend in behind the Saints defence, and with Stephens and Jan Bednarek unable to recover, Zaha arrived on cue to bury his low cross.

With the game in danger of drifting after the break, Saints defender Kyle-Walker Peters gave referee Jon Moss something to think about just after the restart.

Moss initially showed him a straight red card after a lunge at Tyrick Mitchell, but after a long VAR check, he downgraded to a yellow.

That reprieve pushed the Saints on, as Guaita produced a fantastic reaction stop from Che Adams.

Palace set their stall out to dig in for the final 15 minutes, as makeshift centre back Cheick Kouyate held the defence together.

This game certainly won’t go down as a classic for attacking quality, but Palace’s trademark stubbornness was enough to secure the points.