​Crystal Palace are still in amongst the relegation scrap after ​a late Bournemouth goal denied the Eagles of three valuable points over the weekend. 

Roy Hodgson’s men sit just three points above the relegation zone with five games to go. While the Eagles have played a game more than some of their other relegation rivals, the biggest obstacle they may need to overcome is their growing injury list. 

Eight first team players are currently sidelined, which left Palace without any fit striker to play against Bournemouth. The boss explained that a number of players are being forced to step up in the face of this injury crisis, including James McArthur who was forced to play on Saturday despite being sick. 

With Christian Benteke, Connor Wickham, and Alexander Sorloth all injured, Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend had to put in a shift up front against the Cherries. 

“Both Zaha and Townsend did very well up front,” said Hodgson, as quoted by the ​Croydon Adver​tiser. “They haven’t done it for a long time and they’re not natural forwards, either of them.

“When you don’t have a forward in the club because both of those that possibly could play are injured, they’ve done an exceptional job, and the team have done exceptionally well.”

But it was midfielder James McArthur who stepped up the most for the team as the Scotland international was in bed sick just the day before.

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“James McArthur was ill last night [Friday] and had to play, coming off his sickbed; Ruben Loftus-Cheek had to play 90 minutes and he hasn’t had many of those behind him, and the reason is because our bench is quite loaded with defenders, and we don’t have many attacking midfielders or forwards.”

Crystal Palace’s run in includes Brighton and Hove Albion, Watford, Leicester City, Stoke City and West Brom. Hodgson says the club will have to play it by ear in regards to who will be fit for their next game.

“Who knows what team we’ll have out? We’ve a very limited squad, very limited choice in the forward areas, so we’ll have to see which ones are fit next week.”

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