Crystal Palace have seven players away on international duty this week and making the training ground that little more eerie will be the absence of three key players through injury.

The break however will give time for the trio to be assessed by Roy Hodgson and his staff ahead of their next game against Huddersfield on March 30.

Having been knocked out the FA Cup by Watford last week, league survival is Palace’s sole aim in what has been a disappointing campaign.


Wilfried Zaha was a surprise omission from Palace’s line-up at Vicarage Road, the reason being was for a hamstring injury.

The Ivorian has been in scintillating form recently and his absence was felt as the Eagles crashed out of the cup.

"We took him out on Thursday just to test it slightly under control conditions but it was pretty obvious that it would have been an enormous risk to play him in the game [at Watford], a risk of much more serious injury,” said Hodgson.

"You never know with hamstring injuries and strains in the hamstring, you have to be very, very careful especially with players as explosive as Wilf.

“He felt it after the Brighton game and didn't train during the week,"

And with the two weeks now coming up, we can only hope he will recover in time when we play our next game."

Hodgson’s requests however to give him time to recover may fall on deaf ears as he’s been called up to the Ivory Coast squad for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda to be assessed by their staff.

A six-thousand mile round trip that Hodgson can’t be too pleased with.

READ: Why Millwall fans won't hold a grudge on former Palace striker

Mamadou Sakho

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Sakho’s last outing was at in the 4-1 league win at Leicester at the end of February where he suffered knee ligament damage.

It was thought the defender would be out for the remainder of the season but Hodgson has yet to confirm, hoping that the man who’s been Palace’s stand out performer this year can play a part in the Eagles run-in.

"He’s adamant that he doesn't want to write off the season,” said Hodgson.

“He will do his level best but whether the injury will prevent that, we’ll have to wait and see.

"He’s recovering from the operation.

“It’s a weekly thing but we hope of course that he’ll recover.

“He's working very hard to recover but he only had the operation just over a week ago. It's going to take a while before we see him back even in rehabilitation and then we'll see how many weeks are left in the season.”

Bakary Sako

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The January signing has yet to have a real chance in the side and has only made one cameo appearance this season, against Fulham.

Recently side-lined the Mali international according to Hodgson is not far away from being fully fit and should be available for Huddersfield’s trip to Selhurst Park in ten days’ time.