Crystal Palace have been dealt a major injury blow ahead of their upcoming Premier League clash this weekend.
In recent comments cited by Football.London, Patrick Vieira revealed that Luka Milivojevic will not be available for the trip to West Ham United on Saturday afternoon, claiming that the 30-year-old club captain still remains some way short of match fitness following his absence from first-team action so far this season.
When asked whether Milivojevic would be involved at the London Stadium, the Frenchman said: “No, he’s not going to be involved. He needs more training is not physically fit to play the game. We’re going to use the international break for him to catch up and to be ready for our next home game.”
Having picked up just one point over their opening two Premier League fixtures of the season, as well as having yet to score a goal in the league, the continued absence of Milivojevic will undoubtedly have left Vieira gutted.
Indeed, the central midfielder has not only been one of the Eagles’ most consistent performers in the top flight since his arrival in south London back in 2017, the Serbia international has also been a steady source of goals for the club – having scored 28 times over his 150 Premier League appearances.
In terms of performance, the £7.2m-rated man’s displays last season illustrate his importance to the Palace side, with Milivojevic scoring one goal, providing one assist and creating three big chances over his 31 Premier League appearances, as well as making an average of 1.1 interceptions, 2.1 tackles and 1.5 clearances per game.
As such, it is clear to see that Milivojevic is a crucial part of the Crystal Palace side, with his unavailability for the West Ham clash undoubtedly making his side’s task of getting a positive result all the more difficult against an impressive Hammers team on Saturday afternoon.