Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce discusses injury problems ahead of Chelsea clash

Rhodri Cannon
Sam Allardyce

Crystal Palace have a number of injury concerns ahead of their tough trip to table-toppers Chelsea on Saturday (1 April) with Patrick van Aanholt, Fraizer Campbell and influential midfielder James McCarthur all set to miss the trip across London.

Sam Allardyce confirmed that Dutch defender Van Aanholt is still struggling with an ankle problem, while McCarthur is being troubled by back spasms. The Eagles' injured contingent was added to during the international break as Campbell sustained a knock but Allardyce did reveal that Mathieu Flamini is back training with the first-team.

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Crystal Palace's chances of leaving Stamford Bridge with a positive result this weekend are slim at best, but former England manager Allardyce still holds belief in his players to 'upset' Antonio Conte's side, who he says are the 'masters of punishing mistakes'.

"Mathieu Flamini's training but Patrick van Aanholt is still injured," Allardyce said in his press conference. "Fraizer Campbell has picked up an injury and James McCarthur is still struggling with back spasms."

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"The international players came back fit which is important, we're running into a sort of Christmas period in April when we're forced to play seven games in April, we've a sticky period of games and will have to deal with each game as it comes.

"It's a big challenge but not impossible (to beat Chelsea). We have to play our best, no doubt, every man will have to be aware tactically in and out of possession. Chelsea are masters of punishing mistakes, if we can get a chance we have to try and score. We'll be pegged back at times but will get opportunities and we need to be clinical when the chances arise. We can upset Chelsea but it is a big game for us."

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Yohan Cabaye

Allardyce later turned his attention to the future of Crystal Palace midfielder Yohann Cabaye, who is believed to be keen on a move to Ligue 1 outfit Marseille. The Eagles boss did not rule out a move for the former Paris Saint-Germain playmaker in the summer but stated his desire to keep him at Selhurst Park.

"I don't know, you'll have to ask him," the Crystal Palace boss added. "I think he would like to go back to Marseille if they make another bid for him. If he helps keep us up and Marseille offer us millions of pounds, Steve (Parish) may consider selling him.

"But at the moment it's all speculation. I'd prefer to keep him, before you start writing 'Sam wants Yohan out'. I know what you are like with your headlines."

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