‘Their passing quality and movement is better than many other teams above them’ - Palace boss on Norwich
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Roy Hodgson says Norwich City are not the worst team in the Premier League - despite their position at the bottom of the table.
Hodgson brings his Crystal Palace team to Carrow Road on New Year's Day (5.30pm kick-off) admitting he has been impressed with the Canaries and believes their style of play belies their position.
"They're a good team. They play some good football and they'll be every bit as big a test as West Ham and Southampton have been for us - I don't doubt that for one minute," said Hodgson.
"We'll have a lot of respect for Norwich and the way they play.
"They find themselves at the wrong end of the table but I have seen on many occasions watching them play that their passing quality and movement is better than many other teams above them in the league."
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Hodgson is facing more questions about striker Wilfried Zaha.
Zaha, whose contract runs until 2023, failed to force a move away from Selhurst Park during the summer after handing in a transfer request - and Hodgson insists he is not for sale in the January transfer window.
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The 27-year-old has been linked with Premier League rivals Everton, Arsenal and Chelsea in recent months and his future will once again come under the spotlight now the window is open for business.
Hodgson admits any genuine bids for Zaha must be considered by Palace's board, but is certain the club do not wish to sell.
"Wilf is not for sale, so basically I don't need assurances. We aren't trying to sell Wilfried Zaha, we want to keep Wilfried Zaha," said Hodgson.
"What assurance can people give? I have the assurance there is no one in the club that wants to sell Wilfried Zaha.
"But of course you never know where bids are going to come from and I suppose every time there is a serious bid for one of your players the board of directors needs to take it seriously.
"It's certainly not something we're looking for."
Hodgson has been left without seven first-team players after left-back Patrick Van Aanholt suffered a hamstring injury against the Hammers.