Charlton v Palace – Team news preview

Last updated : 16 May 2005 By Nik Taylor

The Eagles travel to The Valley on Sunday with most Palace fans still feeling sick to the stomach from Southampton’s last-minute equaliser.

Last Saturday’s results meant, of course, that Premiership survival is no longer in our own hands. Palace could win 10-0 against the Addicks and still go down – or we could play out a dour 0-0 stalemate and stay up.

Form-wise, there couldn’t be a better away game to have at this stage of the season than Charlton. Our former tenants are going through their traditional end-of-season slump and are throwing away points for fun. That’s encouraging for us – but of course there is the derby factor.

Charlton’s players seem in no mood to throw in the towel, with captain Matt Holland declaring: "We are desperate to win the game - like we are in every game we play. The players are playing for pride and for places next season so it is a massive fixture."

But surely, with so much at stake, Palace players will be able to raise their game by more than their mid-table opponents. Won’t they…?

Palace go into the game with only one enforced change from last Saturday’s team. Gonzalo Sorondo is out suspended after being sent off following that second-half fracas with Peter Crouch. Danny Butterfield is sure to return to the side to reclaim the right-back spot that Sorondo has been filling over the last few games. Our defence can look more than a little shaky when Sorondo’s not there – hopefully Butts can show some of the form he had throughout last season.

Apart from that change, Iain Dowie has no fresh injury or suspension concerns. Ventola’s goal-scoring appearance from the bench last week may tempt the boss to go for an adventurous 4-4-2 formation, but we’re more likely to once again see the familiar 4-5-1 to start with.

Charlton have some players back from injury. Striker Shaun Bartlett and midfielder Jerome Thomas both came through a reserve match on Thursday and may figure for the home side. Chris Perry returns from a one-match ban, but Francis Jeffers may miss out with a shoulder niggle.

Promisingly for Palace, Alan Curbishley looks likely to stick with rookie keeper Stephan Andersen between the sticks, in place of the experienced Dean Kiely. Former Palace man Hermann Hreidarsson is definitely out with a long-term knee injury.

Probable Palace XI:

Butterfield Popovic Hall Granville
Routledge Leigertwood Hughes Riihilahti Soares