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April 19 2019 9.59am

Key clashes: Palace v Huddersfield

March 28 2019

James Tomkins

James Tomkins

Three key clashes to watch out for as Crystal Palace battle Huddersfield Town for three points, writes Hunter Young.

Despite the Eagles' worrying form in front of the home fans at Selhurst Park this season, those that support the Red and Blue should have little to fear with Huddersfield coming to South London.

The Terriers find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table and would need a miracle, or three, to escape relegation with a massive 16-point gap between them and 17th place. Meanwhile, Palace have been on spotty form recently and will see this as an opportunity to start an end-of-season surge up the table.

James Tomkins v Karlan Grant

Unfortunately, the January signing of Karlan Grant will likely prove to be too little too late for the Terriers. The young English striker joined from Charlton Athletic at the end of the winter transfer window and has since scored three goals in six games, including in a brace in the last-match loss to West Ham. Grant also provides a quick striker to compliment the traditional target role played by fellow striker Steve Mounie.

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While the spot next to James Tomkins continues to be a revolving door between Scott Dann and Martin Kelly (with Sam Woods also potentially factoring in) the centre half continues to perform. Tomkins should be in the conversation for player of the year, but will probably be over shadowed by his flashier teammates. If Tomkins stays aware of Grantís off-ball runs, the Palace defence should have little trouble limiting a timid Huddersfield attack.

Michy Batshuayi v Jonas Lossl

As part of a team that has surrendered so many goals in the Premier League, goalie Jonas Lossl has been kept busy in goal this season. The Dane is no world-beater but has been let down this season by those in front of him. Lossl will be happy to see Wilfried Zaha questionable for this game with a hamstring injury as the Ivorian has been on good goalscoring form recently.

With the likely absence of the aforementioned Zaha, there will be greater pressure on Michy Batshuayi to score goals. The striker enjoyed his international break with a call-up to the Belgium national team and was rewarded with a goal against Cyprus last weekend in a UEFA Euro qualifier.

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Jeffery Schlupp v Philip Billing

One of The Terriers' best young players is Philip Billing. The 22-year-old academy product has made himself a first-team regular, appearing in roughly two thirds of matches this season. The Dane cuts am imposing physical figure as his height allows him to dominate the defensive midfield and control aerial threats.

This season would definitely be considered a good one for Jeffery Schlupp as Roy Hodgson has unleashed his versatility to utilise him all over the pitch. Schluppís pace coming out of the midfield makes him a threat to any defence as he can turn a small amount of space into a great amount in an instant. The Ghanaian has also found his scoring boots this season, scoring his first four goals in the Red and Blue despite being present for almost two-and-a half-seasons.

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Email Hunter with your feedback to hjyoung44@outlook.com

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