Roy Hodgson has hit out at the decision to reschedule Crystal Palace’s game against Manchester United to midweek.
United are set to host Palace on Wednesday evening, with the game being rescheduled due to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side facing Leicester City in the FA Cup on March 21, when the game was initially supposed to go ahead.
Palace have struggled without the presence of talismanic former United winger Wilfried Zaha, scoring just two in their last four games without the injured player.
They failed to register a shot on target against Fulham on Sunday and Hodgson says Zaha will likely not have recovered from his hamstring injury in time to play at Old Trafford.
Hodgson was also upset that his side will now face a three-week gap between hosting West Brom on March 13 and travelling to Everton on April 3 due to the moved fixture and an international break.
“I doubt it unfortunately,” he said of Zaha. “I think we will have to wait.
“The Manchester United game thrust upon us is something we are pretty unhappy about, especially in this current state of affairs when we do have so many of our first-team players unavailable.
“It is pretty tough to play Man United now and then get three weeks off when we don’t need three weeks off.
“I would have much preferred if this game had stayed where it was but it is part and parcel of being in the Premier League I guess and being involved in FA Cup competitions, the powers that be feel the need to move games and sometimes it will suit a team and sometimes it won’t.
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Manchester United were denied a penalty in controversial fashion against Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were furious that Callum Hudson-Odoi wasn’t penalised for a handball, as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge. The point leaves United 12 points behind leaders Man City, with Crystal Palace the next opponents.
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“But I have got to say the game coming up on Wednesday definitely does not suit us.
“I would have much preferred to have a week now to get some guys back in form and give some guys who aren’t playing a few more days to possibly be ready.
“And most importantly give ourselves a chance to recover from two unbelievably difficult games against Brighton and Fulham where we have spent a lot of time working to defend out goal.”