Palace v City. Match preview

26 March 2010 03:11
Mark Kennedy is the only injured player likely to be be ready to face Crystal Palace tomorrow. He's rated 50/50 at the moment with Tony Capaldi ready to continue if Kennedy fails to recover from a rib injury sustained against Watford last week.There will definately be a change upfront with skipper Jay Bothroyd suspended.Michael Chopra is set to return and will play alongside Ross McCormack in attack. The midfield of Whittingham, McPhail, Rae and Burke picks itself and the defence will see Darcy Blake and Gabor Gyepes continue at centre halves.Paul Quinn has kept Adam Matthews on the bench for the last few games and I guess is likley to do so again. Kelvin Etuhu should also be on the bench as he looks to return after injury.Palace have defensive problems. Claude Davis is serving the final game of his three-match ban and his replacement at centre-half, Matt Lawrence, is now also suspended following his red card at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night. Danny Butterfield is unlikely to feature after hobbling off at Forest with a hamstring injury, Nathaniel Clyne remains doubtful with groin trouble and Paddy McCarthy suffered a setback in his recovery from shoulder surgery. That means boss Paul Hart could have just two recognised defenders available in Clint Hill and Lee Hills. Austrian international Johnny Ertl could drop back into defence if required. Midfielder Nick Carle missed out at the City Ground with a knock and will be checked over.Speaking about the position Palace find themselves in Dave Jones told the official website: "They have been very unlucky because they were trying to challenge for a play-off spot and all of a sudden they're struggling to stay in the division."Neil Warnock was doing a fantastic job and got the rug pulled from under him. Now Paul Hart has gone in there and he's fighting for his life. But we can't worry about anyone else at this level because you could lose focus on what you're trying to do."The battle for the play-offs will probably go to the final day. Forest appear to have cemented themselves into third spot for the play-offs and the other three are up for grabs. Everybody was saying that only sixth spot was available, but there'll be three places to fight over."