Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is set to include attacker Wilfried Zaha in his squad to face Chelsea on Saturday (14 October) but may be without goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey for the visit of the Premier League champions.
Zaha has missed the Eagles' last eight matches with a knee problem but returned to training a fortnight ago and has worked his way back into first-team contention. Hodgson is no doubt delighted by the Ivory Coast international's apparent availablility for the clash against Antonio Conte's men but is aware that his star attacker will not be firing on all cylinders from the off.
"Wilfried Zaha has trained for two weeks. There's no reason why he shouldn't be in contention to play," Hodgson said in his press conference. "We need to give him time. He's been out for six weeks and was initially predicted to be out longer. It's a tough ask for him to find his form."
Zaha will play some part against Chelsea but Wales international Hennessey may be forced to sit out of the clash with his side's London rivals. The former Wolverhampton Wanderers stopper suffered a slight knock during his country's 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat by the Republic of Ireland, and Hodgson is waiting for the results of a scan to find out whether or not Hennessey can play.
"Wayne received a knock through the last kick of the game against Ireland," Hodgson said. "He'll need a scan before we know if he can play.
Hodgson also provided an update of sorts on Christian Benteke, who suffered a knee injury during Palace's 5-0 defeat by Manchester City: "[Christian] Benteke will be out for a while yet. We'll rejoice when the leg brace comes off, but he'll then have rehab."
The match against Chelsea is a chance for Palace to get some much-needed points on the board. Hodgson's men are currently pointless and goalless after seven Premier League matches, but the former England boss is certain his squad is still more than willing to scrap for points.
The Eagles managed to secure a 2-1 victory against Chelsea when the two sides last met in April, a result that would surely boost the mood around Selhurst Park if it was replicated this weekend.
"We need to make certain we get some points on the board as soon as possible. We can do nothing about the past," Hodgson said. "From day one the players have been up for the fight. We need to operate better as a unit - training ground work helps that."