Crystal Palace have received a big injury boost ahead of their Premier League game against Arsenal after manager Patrick Vieira declared he had no fresh fitness concerns.
The Eagles have been without key midfielder Eberechi Eze all season after he suffered an Achilles injury towards the end of 2020/21, but the 23-year-old is now thought to be nearing a return to first-team action.
Vieira provided an update on the creative talents situation in Friday’s press conference and also confirmed that none of his players picked up any problems during the recent international break.
“We had all the players coming back from international with no issues, so they are all fit and ready to go. Eze is getting better; he started taking some part in the collective training,” the Frenchman revealed.
“But again, we don’t want to put any kind of pressure or any kind of date on when we will be ready, but he is doing well. And we just have to evaluate how he is feeling week after week, we’re not going to make any date on his return.”
Last season, no Eagles player bettered or matched Eze’s tally of six Premier League assists and he also produced the most key passes and dribbles, with average totals of 1.3 and 1.9 per league game respectively, as per WhoScored.
As a result, Vieira will be delighted that the former England U21 international is nearing a return to full fitness and will also be pleased that nobody incurred any fresh injuries during their time away with their national teams.
Palace have made a solid start to life under the former Nice boss, but have still only won one of their opening seven Premier League games and will be hoping to improve on that when they travel to the Emirates Stadium tonight.
For the manager to be able to pick from what will nearly be a fully fit squad, a rarity in the modern game, it will no doubt leave him feeling elated, especially as he returns to face his former side.