Palace ready for a 'big' game against struggling Canaries

Crystal Palace assistant manager Osian Roberts gestures

Crystal Palace assistant manager Osian Roberts will be in charge against Norwich City - Credit: PA

Assistant manager Osian Roberts will be looking for some home comforts when his Crystal Palace side entertain Norwich.

Roberts is on touchline duty again in the absence of manager Patrick Vieira who has tested positive for Covid, which meant he missed the Boxing Day defeat at Tottenham.

“It’s already been said in the dressing room, we have 48 hours to recover,” said Roberts. “At home, we’ve had some really good performances. We love playing in front of our home fans and we’ll need them on Tuesday.

“We know it’s a big game for both teams and we have to be ready. Once the final whistle went, into the dressing room and we’re immediately into recovery strategy.

“We’ll get right, be in tomorrow, of course, to get planning and preparation for the match so we’re nice and clear to the game which we see as a really big game.

“We know it’ll be a different game on Tuesday, a different style of play and we’ll have to be ready. We’ll respect the opponents as we always do. Playing at home will be about how we recover.”

Palace will be without Wilfried Zaha, who was sent off at Spurs after receiving two yellow cards within minutes of each other in the latter stages of the first half, both for fouls on Davinson Sanchez.

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Palace are waiting for clarification on when Zaha, Jordan Ayew and Cheikhou Kouyate will leave for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Ivory Coast winger Zaha, Ghana’s Ayew and Senegal international Kouyate have been called up for next month’s tournament in Cameroon, ruling them out of a crucial period in Palace’s season.
Roberts says the three players may depart at different times, but that is being negotiated with their national teams.

Roberts said: “The three will go to AFCON. It’s a major tournament so we respect that and they’re very proud to play.

“We are not sure when everybody is going to leave, there’s an ongoing discussion between the players and the federations and managers.

“We are still seeking clarification on when they will go. Some may go earlier than others.”