Roy Hodgson begins his second Crystal Palace tenure with a clash against Leicester City as the relegation battle heats up.

Roy Hodgson will begin his second tenure at Crystal Palace, hoping to get the team back on track against Leicester City after a disastrous start to the year. After the club decided to sack Patrick Vieira, the Eagles went to Arsenal and suffered a heavy defeat.

The result left them winless in 2023 and in danger of getting dragged into a relegation battle. The club decided to re-appoint Hodgson, which has come under heavy criticism, with many claiming it is a step backwards. Palace will hope the experience of the 75-year-old will help fight a probable relegation battle.

Palace, winless in 13 games now across all competitions, will hope for a different number on the scoreboard. A win over Leicester will allow them some room between them and the other eight teams likely to fight a relegation fight. The Eagles sit in twelfth for now, albeit only three points separate them from 18th-placed West Ham United.

Compared to Crystal Palace, Leicester City are in a much worse place on the table. Brendan Rodgers will take the positives from their most recent result in the league, a draw against Brentford. Harvey Barnes’s equaliser salvaged a point for the Foxes, keeping them outside the relegation zone for now.

Leicester’s record against Crystal Palace will keep them confident of getting a result. They are unbeaten in seven games against the Eagles and will hope to increase that record. The game at Selhurst Park is crucial for Rodgers and his team, as they will not want to get dragged into the danger zone.

Team News & Tactics

Crystal Palace

There were some positives concerning team news for Roy Hodgson’s first game in charge. The manager confirmed many of the players out from the last game had returned to training and were available. Chris Richards and Nathan Ferguson remain sidelined.

The returnees include Vicente Guaita and Sam Johnstone. The eyeballs will be on Joachim Andersen, who missed the Arsenal clash after hobbling off during the warm-up routine and subsequently missed Denmark’s international games. He, too, might miss the Leicester clash, with James Tomkins his obvious replacement once again.

There are doubts over James McArthur and Will Hughes, although the duo will not be expected to start against the Foxes. Albert Sambi Lokonga will return to the midfield after missing the Arsenal clash through ineligibility.

Jeffrey Schlupp and Cheick Doucoure will take their places alongside the Belgian in a midfield three. Wilfried Zaha will remain the main presence in Palace’s attack, consisting of Michael Olise and Odsonne Edouard leading the line.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Whitworth; Ward, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell; Schlupp, Doucoure, Lokonga; Olise, Edouard, Zaha

Leicester City

Brendan Rodgers also has concerns with player fitness as six players could potentially miss this clash at Selhurst Park. James Justin and Youri Tielemans will remain absentees for this game. But Victor Kristiansen, Jonny Evans, Dennis Praet and Harry Souttar are all back in contention.

After his ban, Wout Faes also returns to the squad and remains a firm choice to start at the back. He will have Souttar alongside in central defence. With Danny Ward in goal, Ricardo Pereira and Timothy Castagne will continue as full-backs.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall will keep his central midfield spot alongside Wilfried Ndidi, while James Maddison will play the advanced role ahead of the duo.

Tete could get another opportunity to convince Rodgers of his talents from the right wing. Harvey Barnes, only a goal away from reaching double figures this season, will start on the left. Kelechi Iheanacho will lead the line for the Foxes, aiming to regain his form in the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Ward; Pereira, Faes, Souttar, Castagne; Dewsbury-Hall, Ndidi; Tete, Maddison, Barnes; Iheanacho

Key Stats

  • Crystal Palace have lost their last four matches in the Premier League.
  • Crystal Palace are winless in 2023 in all competitions.
  • Leicester are undefeated in their last seven matches against Crystal Palace in all competitions.
  • Leicester have failed to win their last five matches in the Premier League.
  • Leicester City have not kept a clean sheet in eight games in all competitions.

Player to Watch

Wilfried Zaha

Zaha would like to regain some form following his injury layoff. While he has recovered some bits of it in the last few games, the rest during this international break will have done him more good. While his future remains unclear, securing Palace’s status in the Premier League remains the biggest worry for the fans.

The Eagles need Zaha to be at his best now and produce displays elevating the club’s standings. Moreover, they also remain desperate for a win, and the attacker should lead his side to three points with a terrific display against the Foxes.


Crystal Palace 1-1 Leicester City

The two sides enter this match in terrible form, which might continue beyond this weekend. These are two teams desperate for a win, and this quest of theirs will lead to a stalemate at Selhurst Park.

Both teams have the required quality to secure three points, but their wretched form suggests a draw in London. The immediate danger will be with Leicester as they could enter the relegation zone, and the same goes for Palace, who could come close to the bottom three.

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