Crystal Palace could be boosted by the return of forward Jordan Ayew for Sunday’s clash with Liverpool after Ghana’s shock exit from the African Cup of Nations.
After travelling to Cameroon to compete in the African Cup on Nations with his native Ghana, which saw him miss Crystal Palace’s derby draw with Brighton last week, Jordan Ayew could be back in contention for the Eagles.
The Black Stars suffered a shock exit from AFCON, their first dismissal at the group stage since 2006, which therefore has seen Ayew return to south London.
Palace manager Patrick Vieira confirmed that the 30-year-old has returned to training ahead of the Reds’ trip to Selhurst Park and could be available for selection.
On Ayew, the Frenchman said: “We don’t know, we still have a couple of days before the game. He was in today [Friday] and took part in the first part of training. We will have a discussion tomorrow [Saturday] to find out how he’s feeling.”
Although he may not be fit to start, Vieira will be delighted to have one of his regular starters back available, especially after less time away than initially thought.
Before his departure for AFCON, Ayew had featured in all bar one of the Eagles’ Premier League matches this season. Although he has only scored once and assisted twice, the 30-year-old is a favourite of his manager for his work-rate and defensive contribution.
Last month, Vieira heaped the Ghanaian with praise, stating: “I think when he had his opportunity the focus was on what he’s doing for the team. He’s sacrificing himself for the team, working hard for the team. This is what we need and want. Goals will come.”
Moreover, the more players available the better for the south London side, who face the tall task of taking a result against a Liverpool side who have lost just one of their last ten Premier League matches and sit second in the table.
In other news: Reliable journalist gives update on Jean-Philippe Mateta