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Crystal Palace boss Hodgson waits on Zaha ahead of Arsenal clash

13:11 GMT+3 07/01/2020
Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace 2019-20
The Ivory Coast international missed the Eagles’ defeat to the Rams, owing to an injury and is in a race to be fit for their clash against the Gunners

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is hoping Wilfried Zaha will be fit enough to feature when they take on Arsenal in a Premier League game on Saturday.

The 27-year-old played through injury in their 1-1 draw with Norwich City on New Year’s Day, with the winger grabbing an assist in the encounter.

The Ivory Coast international was, however, left out of their FA Cup third-round defeat to Championship side Derby County to aid his quick recovery.

Hodgson, who praised the forward for playing against Norwich against the advice of the team’s doctors, is hoping the former Manchester United man will be available when they face the Gunners.

"He's injured. I do [hope he’ll be back against Arsenal]. The fact is he was pressed into service against Norwich, probably defiant of the advice of the sport science and medical people,” Hodgson told the club website.

"If Wilf had been a different person to the person he is, he wouldn’t have played against Norwich. But he did and he got through the game which was fantastic.

“I wasn’t prepared to ask him to push himself through another game against medical advice for a cup match, which, if you’re going to lose a game in our situation, Crystal Palace, is the game you prefer to lose to a league game because our aim is not to win the FA Cup, our aim is to stay in the Premier League.”

Zaha, who has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea lately, has scored three goals and contributed three assists in 21 Premier League games.

Crystal Palace are currently ninth on the league table with 28 points, one above tenth-placed Arsenal.