Zaha fit to return against Tottenham as Crystal Palace get big injury boost

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The Eagles have scored only once in five Premier League matches since their star man was waylaid with a hamstring injury

Wilfried Zaha is fit to face Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday after missing the last month for Crystal Palace through injury.

Zaha hasn’t played since picking up a hamstring strain in the 2-1 win over Newcastle on February 2.

Palace have won just one of their five games without him, scoring only once in that period, but earned a creditable draw at home to Manchester United last time out.

What has been said?

Manager Roy Hodgson was surprised to have Zaha back to match fitness so quickly.

“He has come back quicker than perhaps the medical staff thought was possible,” the Palace manager told reporters.

“He trained well this week so there’s no reason why I can’t consider him for a place in the team.”

The bigger picture

Zaha’s return would be a huge boost to Palace. He remains their top scorer this season despite his recent absence, and his next goal will be his 10th of the season. Christian Benteke is his closest rival with four.

The Eagles could go level on points with 10th-placed Arsenal if they overcome Spurs, though the Gunners have a game in hand and a far superior goal difference going into the weekend.

Tottenham, meanwhile, are looking to make up ground on the top four. A narrow win at Fulham on Thursday took them within a point of Liverpool in seventh, five points off the top four with a game in hand.

Spurs are unbeaten in their last 11 league games against Palace, winning nine of those, and Jose Mourinho will be keen to see that run extended.

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