Huddersfield v Crystal Palace preview: Wilfried Zaha a doubt
Last Updated: 15/09/18 8:39am
Crystal Palace are hoping that Wilfried Zaha will be fit to face Huddersfield on Saturday, with striker Christian Benteke ruled out with injury.
Zaha missed Palace's last game - a 2-0 defeat to Southampton - due to a groin injury and is a doubt to face Huddersfield.
He only returned to training on Thursday, and Palace manager Roy Hodgson said: "It was debated whether he should join in, but he was determined to."
Palace have lost their last 12 Premier League matches in which Zaha hasn't featured, failing to score in 10 of them.
Asked about that record, Hodgson said: "The other players have no desire to accept that a game is a lost cause without him, but until they do win a game, I can't say it is nothing but a fact."
Palace have lost three of their four Premier League matches this season while Huddersfield have drawn two and lost two. Their last match before the international break saw them draw 1-1 at Everton.
"It's important to get that first win and this is our aim in front of our fans on Saturday," said manager David Wagner.
Jonathan Hogg is suspended for Huddersfield after being sent off against Cardiff while Wagner says there is a "small question mark" over Adama Diakhaby.
Collin Quaner and Juninho Bacuna will be assessed after sustaining knocks playing for the Under-23s
in midweek. Goalkeeper Ben Hamer is expected back in contention after a knee injury and will vie with Jonas Lossl for a starting place.
Crystal Palace will be without Benteke due to a knee injury while Zaha has returned to training and is being monitored.
Defender James Tomkins (calf) has also stepped up his recovery so could be involved, but Scott Dann (knee) and Connor Wickham (calf) remain unavailable.
- This will be the third Premier League meeting between Huddersfield and Crystal Palace, with the away side winning both previous matches without conceding in 2017-18.
- Crystal Palace have won all three of their top-flight away matches against Huddersfield, keeping a clean sheet on each trip (5 goals scored). It is their best such 100% away record against a single team in the top tier of English football.
- Huddersfield have lost their last two matches in all competitions against Crystal Palace (0- 1 in the EFL Cup in September 2017 and 0-2 in the Premier League in March 2018) - they have never lost three consecutive games against the Eagles.
- David Wagner's Huddersfield side haven't scored in any of their last four league games at the John Smith's Stadium - they last went five home league games without finding the net during a six-match streak ending in March 1972.
- David Wagner has the worst goals per game record of any manager in the Premier League to have taken charge of 30+ games (0.71 goals per game).
- After winning four consecutive Premier League games, Crystal Palace have since lost their last three matches, conceding exactly two goals in each loss.
If Wilfried Zaha plays, Crystal Palace win. If he doesn't, they don't. Simple.
His pace opens the game up for Palace, which provides space for others to flourish. Huddersfield won't be able to cope.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-2 (8/1 with Sky Bet)