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Crystal Palace: Eze was Vieira’s hero as he stakes World Cup claim

For large parts of this season, it has felt like Crystal Palace have been underwhelming.

Indeed, last term saw Patrick Vieira undertake an excellent job at Selhurst Park, building the Eagles into a young and much-liked side across the country.

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Crystal Palace beat Sheffield United in their first game of 2021, but what was the score?

It was a slow start to 2022/23, however, with Palace winning just two of their opening eight matches.

They have revived themselves ahead of the World Cup, though, with Vieira’s men now losing only two of their last nine Premier League games, four of which have been wins.

Key to their success in that time is Eberechi Eze, who has returned from a horrendous Achilles injury to star alongside the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise.

Indeed, he is the youngster player in the English top-flight with 3+ assists and 5+ big chances created this term.

On that evidence, he is certainly doing everything he can to be in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Qatar and his performance on Sunday afternoon put him in good stead once again.

The aforementioned Olise and Zaha were the scorers on the day, with the former bagging a late winner in the 2-1 victory over West Ham, but arguably it was Eze who was most deserving of the plaudits.

Capable of beating his marker with relentless energy, his performances have increasingly caught the eye this campaign, with VAVEL’s Robin Mumford suggesting he “plays like every defender is a slalom pole.”

The former QPR starlet is a slithery eel in the final third and that was more than evident this weekend.

Should Eze be in the England squad?

Definitely!

Definitely!

Not yet!

Not yet!

Eze supplied two key passes – one of which created Zaha’s equaliser – and completed a whopping 92% of his passes, demonstrating fabulous composure in possession.

Furthermore, the 24-year-old attempted two dribbles, and was successful with his only long ball in the game.

The youngster’s numbers weren’t truly world-beating but it was yet another lively display from a player who appears to be improving all the time.

He now has two goals and three assists in 13 Premier League matches this season, showing he is well and truly back to his best following an injury-hit few years.

Southgate is set to name his squad for the World Cup on Thursday and based on his term so far, deserves to be in with an outside chance of making it on the plane.

Article title: Crystal Palace: Eze was Vieira’s hero as he stakes World Cup claim

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