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Crystal Palace: Luka Milivojevic won’t feature against Brentford

New Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira will be looking to pick up his first points in charge of the Eagles when they host newly-promoted Brentford this afternoon.

The Frenchman’s reign in south London got off to a poor start when the Eagles were seen off 3-0 by Chelsea last weekend, but he may be confident of a better result this time around.

What’s the word?

Palace had to cope without several first team players for their trip to Stamford Bridge last weekend, and Vieira confirmed that club captain Luka Milivojevic will also play no part in today’s clash.

“Luka is not gonna be available. He had his personal reason,” the manager revealed in Friday’s press conference.

The absence of their talismanic midfielder will be a big blow for the capital club, but there is some positive fitness news as James Tomkins and summer signing Joachim Andersen are available for selection.

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“James trained the last couple of days with the group, so he will be involved in the game tomorrow,” said Vieira, who admitted that Andersen’s return to action will offer greater flexibility, stating: “Yeah, that will. Having those players getting fitter – it’s nice for Joachim to play half an hour. His first game since the Euros, that will give options and flexibility at the back.”

Vieira also confirmed that Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher is in line to make his competitive debut for Palace after being unable to play against his parent club on the opening weekend of the season. The Eagles boss said: “Yeah, he’s going to be in the squad. Obviously looking forward to Conor’s first game for us. Will bring us different strengths. Had a really good week, so he will be in the squad.”

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Vieira will be gutted over Milivojevic

Despite the positive news surrounding Tomkins, Andersen and Gallagher, Vieira must be gutted to be without his captain and midfield general Milivojevic.

The Serbia international offers stability and a solid base for the Eagles from which to build in the middle of the park, attributes which were desperately missing from their performance last time out against Chelsea. His tackling average of 2.1 per game last season, the fourth-highest in the squad, set the tone from the midfield engine room.

It should be a memorable afternoon for Vieira, who is taking charge of his first home game as a Premier League manager, and he’ll be hoping to mark the occasion with a positive result. It may be harder to obtain without Milivojevic, though.

In other news… Palace could finally replace Cabaye with “exceptional” £7m gem, Vieira would love him 

Article title: Crystal Palace: Luka Milivojevic won’t feature against Brentford

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