Hodgson pleased with Palace win

Boss Roy Hodgson was delighted to see his Crystal Palace side end a run of unlucky 13 defeats in the absence of Wilfried Zaha by edging out Leicester City 1-0.

Luka Milivojevic netted the only goal of the game as the Eagles claimed three Premier League points without star forward Zaha for the first time since they won 3-2 against Sunderland back in September 2016.

And Hodgson, while playing down the importance of such statistics, was also pleased to see his team get the job done to move five points clear of the bottom three.

He told Sky Sports: "I've not really given it too much thought to be honest, because it's one of those facts that I get hit with.

"They mention 13 games, but I wasn't in charge for all of those 13 games. I know there have been games where he's not played and we've not won, but some of those games have been pretty tricky games, which I'm sure we'd have lost with him as well.

"It's like all statistics. They tell a story, but if you really want to know what the story is you've got to read the book, and we don't read the book for statistical stories.

"We just look at the statistics and we draw our conclusions.

"It was good to win without him and we deserved to win without him."

The next task for Palace is a trip to the Etihad Stadium next Saturday to take on Manchester City, with the Eagles 8/1 to gain a draw and 1/12 not to be relegated come the end of the season.

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Hodgson desperate to lift curse

Roy Hodgson is upbeat about his Crystal Palace team's chances of recording a victory against Leicester City on Saturday at Selhurst Park.

The 16th-placed Eagles, who will be without Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke this weekend, have only won three of their first 16 Premier League matches of the campaign and scored just 13 goals.

However, Palace won the corresponding fixture last term 5-0 and also triumphed 3-0 at the King Power Stadium, so Hodgson knows how to beat the Foxes.

He said: "While it's too soon for [Christian] Benteke – he's out training and we're very happy with that – the other players are all fit so that's positive.

"All curses have to be lifted in one way and there's only one way we can do that. It [the game against Leicester] is an opportunity. [Having not won without Zaha] is a fact and it will be a fact until such time as we play a game with him unable to play and we win. There's an opportunity on Saturday and we'll try to take it.

"We're not letting a lot in, especially if you take away the last two games. We need to take our chances more, we like to play a lot in the opponent's half and we get a lot of balls into the opponent's penalty area."

Palace, 11/2 to be relegated this season, can be backed at 13/8 to beat Leicester City on Saturday.

Hodgson backs his strikers

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says the side have enough qualify upfront despite being the Premier League's second-lowest scorers.

The Eagles have only scored 11 goals in their 15 league games so far this season, a campaign which is turning into a battle for survival.

A defeat away to rivals Brighton in midweek leaves Palace 15th in the table, three points above the bottom three.

They have conceded less than their closest rivals but it is in attack where they have struggled so far this season, though Hodgson insists there are quality strikers at the club who can score the goals to help the side climb the table.

Ahead of a trip to West Ham on Saturday, the Palace manager told a press conference: "I do not think we lack quality. I will accept the criticism that we have not been as good at converting some of the opportunities that we have created.

"With Conor Wickham now coming back to fitness, with Jordan Ayew playing well in my opinion, with (Alexander) Sorloth getting better all the time and with Christian Benteke not that far way, I don't know that it is right to complain about the paucity of talent of ability in the forward areas."

Palace are 9/4 to win at the London Stadium on Saturday with the Hammers 23/20 while the draw is 5/2.

The Eagles are in a poor fun of form, having just a solitary victory in their last 10 games in all competitions and Hodgson admitted he was disappointed with their defeat at Brighton, adding: "We all wanted to do better and know we should have done better.

"Nothing we do two days after can affect that, but we have to stop it affecting us going forward, starting with Saturday at West Ham."

Palace are 7/1 to be relegated while they are 11/2 to finish in the top half of the Premier League.

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Hodgson unhappy with point

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson said he was disappointed to draw at home to Arsenal, claiming his side deserved all three points.

Palace ended the Gunners' 11-game winning run, the teams drawing 2-2 at Selhurst Park with Hodgson's side getting a late equaliser.

Skipper Luka Milivojevic scored both goals for Palace, both from the penalty spot, but his manager afterwards was frustrated not to have won the game.

Milivojevic gave Palace the lead from the spot just before half-time when Cheikhou Kouyate was brought down in the area by Shkodran Mustafi.

Arsenal were level five minutes after the restart through a Granit Xhaka free kick and they went ahead five minutes later, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring though Hodgson claimed that there had been a handball in the build-up.

However, with seven minutes remaining Palace got their equaliser, Xhaka adjudged to have fouled Wilfried Zaha and Milivojevic got his second to ensure a point.

However, Hodgson was upset it wasn't all three, telling the BBC afterwards: "I'm not even happy to end up with one point especially when you see how clear the handball was. It was tough to concede an equaliser after working so hard for the 1-0 lead.

"I thought the attitude of the players and the way we got in control of the game again after going behind, it was a very deserved equaliser. I'm very happy with the performance, I'm just a bit sad it didn't give us the three points."

The result leaves Arsenal fourth in the Premier League table while Palace climb to 14th though they are only three points clear of the bottom three.

Palace are next in action in the fourth round of the EFL Cup, travelling to Championship side Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.

They are 5/4 for the win with Boro 23/10. Palace are 13/2 to win the game 1-0 while Zaha is 11/2 to score the first goal.

Arsenal are in action on the same night, taking on League One Blackpool at the Emirates Stadium.

Palace are 25/1 to win the EFL Cup with Arsenal 5/1.

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Hodgson aims to end Gunners’ run

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is convinced that his team's home form will soon start to improve.

The Eagles have failed to score in their four Premier League matches at Selhurst Park this season, losing to Liverpool, Southampton and Wolves as well as drawing 0-0 with Newcastle United.

Their only victory so far came at Huddersfield and Palace are 4/1 to be relegated this season.

Hodgson's side entertain an in-form Arsenal side that beat Leicester City 3-1 on Monday before edging to a 1-0 victory in Lisbon against Sporting in the Europa League on Thursday.

The Gunners are 3/4 to make it 12 victories in a row in all competitions by triumphing on Sunday while a Palace win is available at 18/5.

Hodgson said ahead of the London derby: "We can and we will [win home games] because the support we get from the Crystal Palace crowd at Selhurst Park is very, very important.

"The atmosphere is very congenital to us. It can help us play on the front foot and I'm hoping for that on Sunday.

"As a unit, Arsenal are playing extremely well. They're working very hard for each other, they're pressuring the ball very well. I don't see any obvious weaknesses.

"It's going to be a question for us really of making certain that we work hard to minimise their opportunities, to try and control them as well as we can.

"We've played well enough [at home], certainly against Liverpool and Wolves. We've got to keep working to make sure the chances are created and that we deny the opposition their chances to create."

Toffees snatch late win

Two late goals gave Everton a second win in a row in the Premier League and pushed them up to eighth in the table.

They beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Goodison Park with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring three minutes from time and Cenk Tosun adding a second two minutes later to make the game safe.

However, it could have been very different had Roy Hodgson's team converted a penalty when the score was still 0-0.

Everton had the first chance of note just before the half hour, Seamus Coleman finding Gylfi Sigurdsson in the box but Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey did well to tip it over the bar.

Palace responded with Wilfried Zaha instrumental, beating two men and feeding Andros Townsend who crossed but James Tomkins headed wide.

The visitors went even closer minutes later, hitting the woodwork, Cheikhou Kouyate heading against the bar with Jordan Pickford beaten.

The game was goalless at the break but, despite Everton starting the second half on top, it was the visitors who should have opened the scoring on the hour mark.

They were awarded a penalty when Coleman was adjudged to have fouled Zaha in the box but Luka Milivojevic missed from the spot, Pickford keeping the shot out with his legs.

Palace were made to pay for the miss late in the game when Calvert-Lewin got on the end of a cross from Ademola Lookman and headed home.

Palace pushed men forward in search of an equaliser but the Toffees made the game safe with a breakaway, Michael Keane punting the ball forward and Tosun controlled and scored.

The win moves Everton up to eighth in the Premier League while Palace are 15th, just two points clear of the bottom three.

Everton, 8/1 to finish in the top six, go in search of a third successive win next Sunday away to Manchester United. They are 9/2 for the win with United 8/13 and the draw 11/4.

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Hodgson hopes Zaha can play

Roy Hodgson remains hopeful that Wilfried Zaha will be able to play for Crystal Palace in Sunday's Premier League clash at Everton.

The former Manchester United winger sustained a muscle strain last week during Ivory Coast's 4-0 win against Central African Republic.

Zaha has not been able to take part in full training but Hodgson has played down fears suggesting his star player will be out of action for two months.

"It's good news that he's close enough to be assessed, to see if he is fit enough to play," said the former England, Liverpool and Fulham boss.

"If he is able to train on Saturday I guess he could be available to play.

"I don't know where the information that this is a two-month injury came from, but we've never been mindful that it would take such a long time.

"It's a strain which players get on a fairly regular basis and some recover quicker than others. Wilf is a quicker than normal recoverer but it will depend on the extent of the injury whether he is a possibility to recover or not."

The Eagles can be backed at 7/2 to win at Everton on Sunday while they are available at 7/2 to keep a clean sheet in the Goodison Park encounter.

Hodgson spells out Benteke blow

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has given a downbeat update about the return to action of striker Christian Benteke, who recently underwent surgery on a knee problem.

The 27-year-old Belgium international has been out of action since early September, but a statement from the Selhurst Park club on Thursday hinted that Benteke might return sooner rather than later.

I think it will take until into 2019 before we see him, but hopefully earlier than later in 2019.

Roy Hodgson

However, Hodgson has now confirmed that that is not the case, with his player definitely ruled out until the New Year and, perhaps, well beyond then.

He told Sky Sports: "We tried the conservative route to put an end to his knee problem, which he has suffered with for a while. That didn't work out.

"There was always the risk that if it didn't work out an operation would be necessary and I got the bad news that the operation was necessary, had taken place and now he will be out for a long period of time.

"It's an operation and normally operations take time. It is dangerous for people like myself to start saying 'it will be this amount of time', because you fall foul of the doctors and the sport scientists who have a different view.

"But there's no doubt we won't be seeing much of him this year. I think it will take until into 2019 before we see him, but hopefully earlier than later in 2019."

Benteke joined the Eagles from Liverpool in the summer of 2016 and has since scored 18 goals in 71 Premier League appearances for the Londoners.

Palace are currently priced at 6/1 to be relegated this season, while they are available at 1/9 to beat the drop.

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Hodgson monitors midfielder market

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has again spoken of ensuring his club are amongst the bidders if Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek becomes available.

The 22-year-old England international has made just two appearances as a substitute for the Blues in the Premier League so far this season, sparking talk of a possible January loan exit.

Loftus-Cheek spent the whole of last season on loan with the Eagles and impressed enough to secure a place in the England squad for the World Cup 2018 finals in Russia.

And Hodgson has made no secret of his admiration for a player who was a key player in helping Palace power away from relegation danger last season.

He told reporters ahead of a Saturday visit from Wolves: "What I am prepared to say and I've said it on many occasions, is that Ruben Loftus-Cheek did an outstanding job for us when he came here.

"Luckily for us, and even more so him, it got him recognised by the national team and he found himself in Russia representing England, which was a perfect end to the season that he had had with us.

"So, we admire him, we like him very much and wish him well and of course – like a lot of other clubs I'm sure, when the day comes when he becomes available for transfer we will be sticking our nose into that.

"But, whether we will get him again, that's another matter. Who knows, we'll see."

Palace are currently priced at 9/1 to be relegated this season, with Southampton available at 9/2 and Brighton 9/2.

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Conversion the key for Palace

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is determined to try and keep confidence high among his goal-shy Eagles squad, who head to Bournemouth on Monday evening.

Palace have scored a mere four goals in six Premier League games so far this season, having failed to find the net at all in three outings at their Selhurst Park home.

Wilfried Zaha has three goals to his name, with Jeffrey Schlupp the only other goalscorer for the Eagles.

However, Hodgson is not overly concerned, as he has seen his side carve out plenty of chances, only to fail to convert – which he hopes is a fault will be rectified in the near future.

He told reporters: "We have created many chances, so it forces one to consistently look back to the misses and the missed opportunities, because in the bulk of the games we have played, we had that many chances.

"It's harrowing to come off the field at 0-0 when you have seen that many chances.

"I believe as long as you are creating those chances and you are getting in those positions, the goals will come.

"What you do is make certain the players believe in themselves, they keep working at their game and they share your belief that if you keep doing this then you will score goals."

Palace have claimed a win and two draws from their three previous Premier League visits to Dean Court, and are 5/2 to secure a draw on Monday evening.

The visitors are 12/1 to win the game 2-1, with Zaha available at 2/1 to score at any time.

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