Crystal Palace made to sweat over Christian Benteke's ligament injury

Palace played winger Bakary Sako as a central striker in the Carabao Cup win over Huddersfield Town in midweek and may now have to do so again in a competition with far higher stakes

Ed Malyon
Sports Editor
Sunday 24 September 2017 18:46
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Benteke could be ruled out for a sustained period
Benteke could be ruled out for a sustained period

Crystal Palace face an anxious wait on the results of Christian Benteke's scan on Monday after the Belgian striker suffered suspected ligament damage in Saturday's 5-0 defeat at Manchester City.

The £32m man is the Eagles' only senior striker, with Connor Wickham not having played a game in nearly a year and the club having let Frazier Campbell and Loic Remy walk away in the off-season.

Palace played winger Bakary Sako as a central striker in the Carabao Cup win over Huddersfield Town in midweek and may have to do so again in a competition with far higher stakes.

While the club had weighed up free agent options recently, they will almost certainly now be pressed into action to reinforce a squad that has failed to score a goal in their first five Premier League games.

"We think it's a form of ligament damage," Eagles boss Roy Hodgson said of Benteke. "I don't know quite how bad that ligament damage is.

"He's going to have a scan but it will mean he won't be playing in the next game, I'm pretty sure of that."

Up next for Palace are high-fliers Manchester United and Chelsea, and they may be without their two most important attacking players in Benteke and Wilfred Zaha as they look to break their humiliating duck.

Roy Hodgson has an injury crisis on his hands 

The Eagles' failure to recruit a backup striker was even more painful as Oumar Niasse, for whom a deal fell through in the dying embers of deadline day, scored two crucial goals for Everton this weekend.

Venting on Twitter after failing to reinforce the squad in August, chairman Steve Parish this month admonished a fan who questioned what the Eagles would do should Benteke go down.

"What if he doesn't? What if the sun does in fact come up tomorrow?"

One thing is for certain, the sun is not shining on Crystal Palace right now.

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