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Crystal Palace: Patrick Vieira must unleash Odsonne Edouard

Crystal Palace will be aiming to bounce back from just their third Premier League defeat of the season when they travel to Elland Road to take on Leeds United this evening.

A hugely disappointing 2-1 defeat on home territory against Aston Villa ended their seven-game unbeaten run last time out, and Patrick Vieira will be expecting a response from his wounded charges.

And although goals have been relatively easy to come by for the capital club in recent weeks, it’s across the front line where the Frenchman may wring the changes.

The in-form Christian Benteke has already notched up four goals and one assist in 13 top-flight fixtures this term, bettering his combined total for both 2018/19 and 2019/20.

However, the 6 foot 2 target man may be better off taking a place on the substitutes bench for this intriguing midweek encounter.

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Can you guess which Palace player scored the most goals in all competitions during the season in question? Let's start with 2009/10...

As per FBref.com, both Leeds and Palace are teams that love to press their opponents, placing in the top two for pressures in the Premier League this season.

But what makes the Whites particularly unique is their man-to-man marking when out of possession. The system forms a key part of manager Marcelo Bielsa’s philosophy and can be hugely successful, but like any tactic, it’s also there to be exploited.

Manchester United did so to great effect when they dismantled their west Yorkshire rivals at Old Trafford last term.

Bruno Fernandes was charged with dragging defensive midfielder Kalven Phillips out wide, opening up an ocean of space for Scott McTominay to burst into and score two goals inside the first three minutes on the way to a famous 6-2 victory.

But this way of combatting Bielsa’s well-drilled charges requires mobility and pace in order for each player to win their individual battles. And that is not something Benteke is blessed with.

Should Edouard start against Leeds?

Yes, definitely!

Yes, definitely!

No way!

No way!

Summer signing Odsonne Edouard, on the other hand, is and the 23-year-old’s physical attributes are an asset that Vieira must exploit as he goes in search of a precious three points.

The £79,000-per-week striker was described as a “special talent” by former manager Neil Lennon during their time together at Celtic, and he’s already shown why during his short time in south London.

Edouard perfectly combines his tactical intelligence with technical skill, excelling when dribbling with the ball at his feet, playing precise through balls and finishing past an opposition goalkeeper.

His record of three Premier League goals in just 534 minutes of top-flight action are evidence of how quickly he has transitioned to life in English football and Vieira now has to reinstate him in his starting XI, selecting him from the off for the first time since the beginning of the month.

And, in other news…Huge blow: Vieira confirms big injury setback pre-Leeds, Palace fans will be gutted

Article title: Crystal Palace: Patrick Vieira must unleash Odsonne Edouard

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