Eze picked up a hamstring injury in training to further populate a busy treatment room, further stretching one of the smallest squads in the Premier League. There are now eight first-team players either out ruled out or returning from injury, including Michael Olise and summer signing Matheus Franca.
Edouard will be fit in time for Saturday’s home encounter with Nottingham Forest, and the Frenchman’s availability could be the key to Hodgson’s ability to name a starting line-up that can function in Eze’s absence.
Edouard has filled in on the left wing a number of times since joining Palace — a position he honed in his Celtic days. Playing Edouard on the left and Jean-Philippe Mateta as the sole striker would also Hodgson to move Jeffrey Schlupp into the No10 role where Eze usually plays.
Schlupp’s stamina and his inclination to track back would help out defensive midfield pairing Cheick Doucoure and Will Hughes. Doucoure and Hughes will need assistance with midfield shuttling, too, as a front three of Edouard, Mateta and Jordan Ayew would offer little defensive cover, with all three natural forwards by trade.
Hodgson will no doubt be eagerly awaiting the returns from injury of wingers Michael Olise and Matheus Franca, expected to be fit towards the end of this month. For now, though, this formation should see them through their injury crisis — maintaining balance and ensuring they remain a threat.