Crystal Palace v Aston Villa Team News

Crystal Palace
Roy Hodgson says he's unsure when Mamadou Sakho will return to action but claims the defender is eager to play again this season.

Crystal Palace remain without central defenders Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins for the visit of Aston Villa on Saturday.

The duo are yet to feature this season and the clash with newly-promoted Villa has come too soon for both Sakho and Tomkins, who are struggling with respective knee and groin issues.

Eagles manager Roy Hodgson also has concerns over full-backs Patrick van Aanholt and Joel Ward, while winger Jeffrey Schlupp is also rated as a doubt. The three players were all absent in midweek as Palace were on the wrong end of an EFL Cup upset, as they went down on penalties at home to League Two Colchester United.

Van Aanholt hit the headlines last weekend with a late winner at Manchester United and Hodgson will be hoping the defender is available for the clash with Villa.

Wilfried Zaha should keep his place in the starting XI despite the speculation over his future. Palace managed to fend off interest from Arsenal and Everton in the Ivorian earlier in the summer but he has been mooted as a potential target for European heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain should Neymar depart the French capital for Barcelona.

Striker Christian Benteke will be hoping to feature against former club Villa for the first time as a Palace player but he may have to settle for a place among the substitutes. The 28-year-old Belgium international is yet to score this season and was dropped to the bench for the 2-1 win at Old Trafford, although Hodgson may opt to play with two strikers as he did in the previous home game against Everton, with Benteke and Jordan Ayew paired up front.

Villa picked up their first points of the season with an impressive 2-0 win over Everton last weekend and backed that up by crushing Crewe 6-1 in the EFL Cup in midweek.

Manager Dean Smith made a few changes for that cup assignment and summer buy Marvelous Nakamba is pushing for his first taste of Premier League action after impressing against the Alex.

The Zimbabwe international joined from Club Brugge at the start of August but has had to wait for his chance after a limited pre-season.

Fellow summer recruit Matt Targett made his debut against Crewe but sustained a hamstring injury and now faces a spell out.

The former Southampton defender joins James Chester, who is yet to feature this season, and Jonathan Kodjia on the sidelines.

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