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Crystal Palace to still be without Joel Ward for Burnley clash

Crystal Palace will once again be without right-back Joel Ward on Saturday afternoon as the Eagles host relegation battlers Burnley at Selhurst Park.

What’s the latest?

According to Palace manager Patrick Vieira, the 32-year-old will once again be absent for the South London club on Saturday, alongside Nathan Ferguson. The Frenchman said: “Two players not in the squad will be Nathan Ferguson and Joel Ward. All the other players are fit and can be in the squad.”

However, the 45-year-old admitted that Ward’s injury is “just a groin issue” and “hopefully he will be back training next week.”

The Englishman hasn’t featured since the goalless draw away at Brentford on 12 February, missing the 1-0 defeat at home to Chelsea last Saturday and the 4-1 victory away at Watford on Wednesday evening.

Vieira will be fuming

Despite their league position, Burnley go into Saturday’s match as one of the top-flight’s most in-form sides and will certainly pose a threat for Crystal Palace.

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The Clarets have lost just one of their last six league outings, with that defeat being a 1-0 loss to Liverpool, winning their last two matches 3-0 at Brighton and 1-0 against Tottenham.

Sean Dyche’s side’s recent positive run has seriously boosted their survival chances, with the Lancashire outfit two points from safety in 18th whilst having a game in hand on 17th placed Newcastle as well as two on 19th Watford and three on bottom side Norwich City.

Flirtation with the relegation zone before the end of the season seems extremely unlikely for Vieira’s side and instead, they should be targeting a top-half finish.

The Eagles are four points off of tenth in 11th place, although the games in hand of sides near them in the table doesn’t offer any favours.

Therefore, Saturday’s meeting is certainly important for the South Londoners, who will certainly be dented by the absence of Ward who has been a kingpin for the French manager, starting 23 of Palace’s 26 league games this season.

Is Joel Ward a big miss for Crystal Palace?

Yes

Yes

No

No

However, there will still be plenty of experience on the right-hand side of defence in Ward’s place, with 30-year-old Nathaniel Clyne set to start his third successive league match in place of his fellow countryman.

Although he’s been limited to just six first-team appearances so far this season, the right-back boasts bags of experience and is a decent backup option.

It’s why Vieira will be fuming at seeing Ward miss out once again.

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Article title: Crystal Palace to still be without Joel Ward for Burnley clash

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