Survival comes first for Hodgson

Boss Roy Hodgson is adamant that the main priority for Crystal Palace this season remains securing their Premier League status, despite their progress in the FA Cup.

The Eagles booked a place in the last eight of the cup with a 2-0 victory at League One Doncaster Rovers, with Jeffrey Schlupp and Max Meyer their goalscorers.

However, despite being three wins away from glory, Hodgson is still focused on avoiding relegation, with Palace currently three points clear of the drop zone, having won only one of their last five league games.

He told reporters: "We are happy to be in the draw and we would like to do well in the cup, but we would like even more to stay in the Premier League.

"That's always the priority, as seen by today when we were able to rest one or two players.

"Sooner or later (in the cup) you will meet Manchester City or either Manchester United or Chelsea, so it's a question of when that happens, because then you will have a really tough tie. The important thing is to take each game as it comes."

Palace have reached the FA Cup final on two occasions, losing out to Manchester United in both 1990 and 2016.

The Eagles are currently priced at 16/1 to be relegated this season, while they are 1/40 to beat the drop and 9/1 to lift the FA Cup for their first time in their history.

Palace are back in top-flight action on Saturday, when they head to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City.

View all Soccer betting

Survival come first for Hodgson

Boss Roy Hodgson is adamant that the main priority for Crystal Palace this season remains securing their Premier League status, despite their progress in the FA Cup.

The Eagles booked a place in the last eight of the cup with a 2-0 victory at League One Doncaster Rovers, with Jeffrey Schlupp and Max Meyer their goalscorers.

However, despite being three wins away from glory, Hodgson is still focused on avoiding relegation, with Palace currently three points clear of the drop zone, having won only one of their last five league games.

He told reporters: "We are happy to be in the draw and we would like to do well in the cup, but we would like even more to stay in the Premier League.

"That's always the priority, as seen by today when we were able to rest one or two players.

"Sooner or later (in the cup) you will meet Manchester City or either Manchester United or Chelsea, so it's a question of when that happens, because then you will have a really tough tie. The important thing is to take each game as it comes."

Palace have reached the FA Cup final on two occasions, losing out to Manchester United in both 1990 and 2016.

The Eagles are currently priced at 16/1 to be relegated this season, while they are 1/40 to beat the drop and 9/1 to lift the FA Cup for their first time in their history.

Palace are back in top-flight action on Saturday, when they head to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City.

View all Soccer betting

Zaha to miss Doncaster clash

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is expecting a big challenge on Sunday after learning that Wilfried Zaha will be suspended for the FA Cup clash at Doncaster Rovers.

Zaha has lost his appeal against the one match suspension he was handed by the Football Association after he was sent off in last month's Premier League game against Southampton.

League One side Doncaster, who are managed by Grant McCann, are on a good run of form and can be backed at 9/4 to win the fifth-round clash at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Hodgson said: "I'm expecting a big challenge. They're doing very well at the moment and we've got a lot of respect for them. We've watched the videos of their team play and been impressed.

"It's not going to be an easy one by any stretch of the imagination and we've seen so many examples of that already. Doncaster are a team that's on the verge of the Championship so we're preparing for a real tough one."

Doncaster are sixth in League One and 9/2 to be promoted this season while Palace can be backed at 10/1 to win the FA Cup.

Hodgson admits that avoiding relegation from the Premier League is his priority but has indicated that he may field a strong side at Doncaster as the fixture schedule at the moment is not too demanding.

The former England manager added: "I can't deny that doing well in the Premier League is absolutely our main goal.

"But the FA Cup is a good competition to be in if you're lucky enough to progress as we have so far. There’s a 'eek between us playing here and the next league game so it comes in a better position if you like in terms of our schedule than the last one did."

Hodgson not looking over his shoulder

Roy Hodgson believes Crystal Palace should be looking up, not down, the Premier League table after taking plenty of positives from Saturday's draw with West Ham.

The Eagles are now unbeaten in their last four top-flight games after battling to back to secure a 1-1 draw against the Hammers at Selhurst Park, Wilfried Zaha's deflected goal cancelling out Mark Noble's first-half penalty.

However, it could have been a lot better for Hodgson's side had they taken their chances, James McArthur and January arrival Michy Batshuayi being guilty of missing two golden opportunities.

Rather than focus on it being two points dropped, Hodgson preferred to take the positives from the clash, believing the fact they had created so many chances was an indicator of how good team he has assembled.

Despite only being three points outside the relegation zone and available at 16/1 to go down, the ex-England boss says the Palace fans have few reasons to worry about the fight for survival below them.

“I have a very good football team," he said. They've shown it time and time again, and with bells on today against a team who should have beaten Liverpool on Monday night.

"Certainly, we should have beaten them. So I'm entitled to believe in this team, have faith in this team, and believe they should be less concerned about the teams below them and more about catching those above us.

"We don't have as many points as our performances have deserved.”

Palace can take a break from Premier League matters next weekend when they travel to Doncaster in the FA Cup fifth round.

The Londoners are 4/7 to advance to round six, while the Yorkshire outfit are 17/4 to cause an upset. The draw is 16/5.

Irons welcome back Arnautovic

West Ham will have star forward Marko Arnautovic available for selection for the derby clash with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

The Austria international was forced to sit out the 1-1 Premier League draw with Liverpool on Monday evening due to a bruised foot sustained in the 3-0 reverse at Wolves six days earlier.

However, Hammers head coach Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that Arnautovic has trained without ant issues through the week and will be in contention to feature against the Eagles.

He told reporters: "Marko worked the complete week. It is good news, of course. He is a player who makes a difference and important for our team.

"He needs to recover his best form after not playing and his last injury – I hope he will be an important player for the remainder of the season."

Arnautovic, who was heavily linked with a move to China during the January transfer window, has scored seven league goals for the Irons so far this season, including two in a 2-2 draw at home to Brighton just over a month ago.

He is available at 21/10 to score at any time against Palace on Saturday, with the Hammers having won 3-2 when the two sides met at the London Stadium in early December.

Felipe Anderson got on the scoresheet in that game and the Brazilian is 3/1 to find the net at any time on Saturday.

View all Soccer betting

Pellegrini enjoys Hammers display

Manuel Pellegrini has called on his West Ham side to continue to perform like they did in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool between now and the end of the season.

The Hammers earned a share of the spoils at the London Stadium thanks to a Michail Antonio goal, with Pellegrini feeling that his team had carved out enough opportunities to have secured a victory over the Premier League leaders.

The Chilean told his club's official website: "I was pleased with the performance because I thought we played a very good game, but I'm disappointed with the result because they scored a goal which was clearly offside.

"We missed three or four chances, especially in the first 35 minutes, which could have finished the game. We missed those opportunities, so we had a draw in a game which we could have won.

"But I think the team we saw tonight is the team we must see from now until the end of the season."

The draw with the Reds capped off a run of three consecutive defeats for the Irons, who lost back-to-back league games against Bournemouth and Wolves, while in between they crashed out of the FA Cup by losing 4-2 at League One AFC Wimbledon.

The Hammers are now priced at 10/11 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season, while they are 10/11 to end up in the bottom half.

Their next assignment is a London derby against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

View all Soccer betting

Hodgson happy with Eagles squad

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson believes that his team now have the firepower needed to ensure that they avoid the threat of relegation from the Premier League.

The Eagles won 2-0 at home to Fulham on Saturday to maintain a three-point cushion between themselves and the drop zone, with deadline day loan recruit Michy Batshuayi having a hand in the clinching second goal scored by Jeffrey Schlupp.

And Hodgson, who also brought Bakary Sako back to the club to bolster his attacking options further, is pleased with his work in the transfer market.

He told the club's official website: "We think we've signed a player who will be of enormous value to us in our attempts to stay in this league, which won't be easy as we face a lot of competition and it'll be hard to see it through.

"Most the clubs in the bottom half of the table are not bad at defending well, but the big question is do you have people in your team like the big teams have?

"When the goals dry up things become very difficult and I'm happy that we now have alternatives and enough players to score the goals we will need to keep us in the league."

The Eagles are available at 20/1 to be relegated this season, while they are 1/66 to beat the drop.

Their next assignment comes next Saturday when they play host to West Ham, with the Hammers having won the meeting of the two sides at the London Stadium earlier this season by a 3-2 scoreline.

View all Soccer betting

Hodgson expects Batshuayi impact

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is confident that loan striker Michy Batshuayi will prove to be a valuable addition to his goal-shy Eagles squad.

The 25-year-old Belgium international has joined Palace on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season, having struggled at Valencia during the first half of the current campaign.

And Hodgson expects Batshuayi to be a big help to his team, with the frontman having impressed at both Standard Liege and Marseille before joining Chelsea in the summer of 2016.

He told his club's official website: "If you look at his goalscoring record at all of the clubs he's played at from the time that he started, it's been very, very good. He's a proven goalscorer and we've always liked what we've seen.

"I spoke to two or three people that I know and whose judgement I trust about him as a player and as a character. What I got were very, very good references.

"We need a player to guarantee us some goals and, we hope, in Michy we have that person. It will give everyone a boost…to have a player with a good goalscoring record."

Having found opportunities severely limited at Stamford Bridge, Batshuayi was loaned out to Borussia Dortmund almost exactly a year ago and impressed in netting seven goals in ten Bundesliga outings for BVB.

Palace are 15th in the Premier League table ahead of the weekend action, having scored 24 goals in 24 league games played so far this season.

On Saturday the Eagles host Fulham, with Palace having won the meeting of the two sides at Craven Cottage earlier this season by a 2-0 scoreline.

They are 9/1 to win 2-0 again on Saturday and are 13/8 to keep a clean sheet, with Batshuayi 13/8 to score at any time in the game.

View all Soccer betting

Eagles swoop for Batshuayi

Roy Hodgson has added to his attacking options at Crystal Palace by signing Michy Batshuayi on a loan deal from Chelsea until the end of this season.

The Belgium international striker has been on loan at Valencia so far this season but has welcomed the opportunity to return to the Premier League.

He said: "I am very happy to be back in London and the Premier League and already looking forward to being on the field – this time in red and blue!

"I'm hungry for game time and goals and I hope I will find all that here at Palace."

The 25-year-old scored 44 goals in 120 games for Standard Liege in his homeland before joining Marseille in 2014. He found the net 33 times in 78 appearances during his two seasons with the French club and signed for Chelsea in the summer of 2016.

However, he has failed to impress at Stamford Bridge and was loaned to Borussia Dortmund last season before featuring in 23 matches for Valencia this term.

He has scored 12 goals in 23 appearances for Belgium and was part of the squad that reached the semi-finals of World Cup 2018.

Palace chairman Steve Parish said: "This is a fantastic signing for Crystal Palace. Michy is a player we've long admired and I'm delighted that we've finally managed to get him in a red and blue shirt. He will be a magnificent addition to our squad."

Palace are 21/20 to beat Fulham in Saturday's crunch London derby and 13/2 to win the match 1-0 with Ryan Babel 7/2 to score at any time in the game.

Smaller squad suits Hasenhuttl

Ralph Hasenhuttl has played down the chances of any new players arriving at Southampton before the transfer window closes on Thursday.

The Saints boss has sold Manolo Gabbiadini to Sampdoria this month and allowed Steven Davis, Wesley Hoedt and Cedric Soares to leave St Mary's on loan deals.

The Austrian has not bought any new players in January so far, although he has been linked with Birmingham striker Che Adams and Genk's Joakim Maehle.

Hasenhuttl is happy with the players he has at his disposal though and does not feel under pressure to sign any new recruits.

He said: "If you discuss every player who is linked with us it would take a long time.

"Typical for our transfer period now is that we have spoken about making this group being smaller and I think that showed you two things. One is that we trust in the guys here and create energy in sending a few guys away to make the group smaller and work better with them.

"You can be sure we had our eyes open and if we don't sign a player in this transfer period, we sign one for the summer but do it now, but only if the package is 100 per cent right, otherwise we do nothing."

Southampton are 7/5 to beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday and 9/1 to win the match 2-1.