Quick links

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson will have a massive decision to make about his defence

Roy Hodgson manager

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson will have a plethora of options in central defence in the coming weeks but who should he pick?

manager Roy Hodgson of Crystal Palace looks on during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa at Selhurst Park on August 31, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

Crystal Palace have gotten off to an incredible start in the Premier League having lost just one of their first four games. A victory against Manchester United should fill Roy Hodgson and his side with a ton of confidence but he has a massive decision to make in the weeks to come. 

The Eagles paired up Scott Dann and Martin Kellly in central defence in their opening two games but the former was replaced by summer signing Gary Cahill in their next two fixtures. Mamadou Sakho was brought on for the final few minutes in the game against Aston Villa after Kelly hurt his groin. 

 

With Tomkins and Dann expected to return this weekend and Kelly soon to follow them in a couple of weeks, Hodgson will have five experienced central defenders available at his disposal and choosing two out of those will be a massive headache. 

Tomkins and Sakho were incredible for the Eagles last season while Dann has been a loyal servant for the club over the years. Cahill is arguably the most experienced centre-half available to the former England boss while Kelly has also proved his worth in front of the Palace faithful. 

Crystal Palace's James Tomkins (right) celebrates scoring the opening goal with team-mate Mamadou Sakho during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace at John...

Cahill's brilliant positioning and excellent ability to read the game should make him the first choice and Sakho's quality on the ball makes the duo a logical option to start on a consistent basis but they might need some time adjusting to each other in the heart of Palace's defence. 

With a huge London derby against Tottenham coming up this weekend, Hodgson has a lot to think about but he would much rather prefer this sort of headache over one where most of his options are out injured. A win against Spurs will be a huge boost for the Eagles ahead of a difficult run of fixtures which will see them face Wolves, West Ham, Arsenal and Manchester City in their following five games.

Roy Hodgson, Manager of Crystal Palace celebrates victory with Scott Dann of Crystal Palace after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St. James Park on...

 

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch