James McArthur’s hamstring injury will have come as a major blow to Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira, according to the Sun journalist Tom Barclay.
McArthur is set to spend time on the sidelines and will be unavailable for this afternoon’s trip to Burnley as Premier League football returns following the international break.
What’s the latest news involving McArthur?
Vieira has confirmed that McArthur will be out of action for a period after sustaining a hamstring issue, with the Scotsman needing to be assessed “week after week”.
McArthur’s injury blow comes at a busy time for the Eagles, with the south Londoners set to face Burnley, Aston Villa, Leeds United and Manchester United over the course of the next 15 days.
The 34-year-old has played an integral role since Vieira’s appointment as Palace’s manager during the summer.
Today’s trip to Turf Moor will be the first time this season that McArthur is not included in a Premier League starting line-up.
He has worn the captain’s armband on numerous occasions while making 12 appearances in all competitions this term, taking his tally up to 238 outings since heading to Selhurst Park from Wigan Athletic seven years ago.
What has Tom Barclay said about McArthur?
Barclay admits McArthur, who won the FA Cup during his time on the books of Wigan, has become a key member of Palace’s squad.
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Barclay is certain that the central midfielder’s presence will be missed by Vieira and the Scotsman’s team-mates.
He told GIVEMESPORT: “I think fans outside of Palace wouldn’t really consider him as a major player but it’s a huge, huge blow.”
Who could come into the starting line-up in McArthur’s place?
Palace head to Burnley having secured back-to-back wins for the first time this season, so it is unlikely that Vieira would have liked to have made many changes to his starting XI.
However, McArthur’s hamstring issue means he has no choice but to make an alteration.
Cheikhou Kouyate and Conor Gallagher were in Palace’s midfield for the 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out and are likely to keep their places in the team.
Luka Milivojevic, Jairo Riedewald and Will Hughes are just some of Vieira’s midfield options ahead of going head-to-head with Burnley.