The Sun’s Tom Barclay does not expect Eberechi Eze to start for Crystal Palace this weekend against Burnley.
Eze is closing in on a return to action after an injury-ht 2021, but Barclay feels he may have to wait a little longer for some minutes on the pitch.
How long has Eze been out for?
It has been a long road back for Eze, who impressed in his maiden campaign at Palace last term.
The attacking midfielder chipped in with four goals and six assists in the Premier League in 2020/21, but his campaign was brought to a premature end when he suffered a serious Achilles injury in mid-May.
He has not featured for the first-team since, meaning that he has been away from Premier League football for six months.
What has Barclay said about Eze’s chances of starting on Saturday?
Eze has stepped up his recovery this month by starting twice for the club’s Under-23s, and it seems that he could make Palace’s squad on Saturday for the trip to Turf Moor.
Barclay is tipping him to just be named on the bench, though, rather than being thrown in from the beginning of the match.
Speaking about Eze, Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “I don’t think he’ll start. Palace are playing brilliantly at the moment. I think it’s up to Eze to try and force his way into the team, even if he was completely 100% fully fit at the moment.”
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Will Vieira risk Eze against Burnley?
The 23-year-old is a quality operator, and was in with a chance of making Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Euros in the summer prior to his injury setback. Therefore, some fans may want to see him back in the starting XI as quickly as possible.
However, it would be an unnecessary risk to start him at Burnley. Eze has been sidelined for six months, so Patrick Vieira needs to be careful with bringing him back into the fold, as another injury blow would be devastating for the forward.
Furthermore, as Barclay mentioned, Palace are flying right now. They are on a six-match unbeaten run in the top-flight, and won their last two games before the international break.
As a result, there is very little need for Vieira to change much this weekend, so he would be wise to name Eze among the substitutes, and then bring him on in the latter stages if he is needed.
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