Claude Puel makes three changes for Leicester City

Cheryl Sanders
December 16, 2017

While Leicester's goalscoring form has meant that the problems at the back have gone unnoticed, it's something that Puel must be wary of, considering how Crystal Palace have gone about their job since Roy Hodgson's arrival. The Belgian is Palace's only recognised senior striker, but Bakary Sako is improving as an option there, showing his poacher's instincts with a goal in midweek. James McArthur and James Puncheon compete to replace Milivojevic. Fosu-Mensah suffered a hamstring injury in the victory against Watford, while Ward and Sakho have been absent since recent games against West Brom and AFC Bournemouth respectively.

Leicester City duo Matty James (Achilles) and Robert Huth (ankle) are back in training but are not yet ready for a first-team return.

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Fresh off a five-star display against Southampton, the Foxes seem like an unstoppable force at the moment, and it would take a enormous effort from Crystal Palace if they are to stand any chance against a hot Leicester City at their boisterous home.

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It's a big game for...

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"I don't think it's right to talk up or talk down the teams around you".

Riyad Mahrez. The tricky Algerian is finally rediscovering the form that won him PFA Player of the Year two years ago, after a hard campaign last season.

Crystal Palace must maintain their newfound momentum to keep up with their rivals if they are to move out of the Premier League's relegation zone, manager Roy Hodgson said ahead of Saturday's trip to Leicester City.

Since handing veteran boss Roy Hodgson the reins at Selhurst Park, the London outfit have seen their form improve significantly having made a disastrous start to the current campaign, and are now unbeaten in their last six Premier League fixtures, winning two of those. With just two seconds of extra time to play, Steve Claridge shinned home a victor from 20 yards to win promotion at the death.


Claude Puel has not won five consecutive league games as a manager since 2008, when his Lyon side went on to finish third in Ligue 1. The oversized Palace shirts worn here are a particular highlight.

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The Eagles managed to turn a 1-0 deficit around within the space of two minutes against the Hornets, scoring the equaliser in the 89th minute before grabbing a victor in the 91st, and despite their lowly position in the table their spirit at the moment must be immeasurable.

Given the state of Palace's defence this season - the Eagles have kept just two clean sheets - their backline will have to be on top form to keep out Mahrez and co, especially left-back Jeffrey Schlupp who will be directly faced with the former Le Havre man.


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