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Crystal Palace: Vieira handed boost ahead of Newcastle clash

Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final game against fellow London outfit Chelsea proved to be an interesting tactical encounter.

In order to make the game more difficult for Thomas Tuchel, Patrick Vieira decided to fight fire with fire and matched up in a 3-5-2 set-up to limit the Blues’ attacking threat.

It was a tactic that initially played out for the Eagles, with 34-year-old James McArthur restored into the line-up in place of Conor Gallagher.

What’s the news?

Conor Gallagher will make his return to the Crystal Palace starting XI against Newcastle United, after sitting out Sunday’s FA Cup tie versus Chelsea due to a clause in his loan agreement that forbids him from taking part in fixtures against his parent club.

Palace were hopeful that Chelsea would give Gallagher the green light to feature, having previously made the exception for Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount when they were on loan at Derby County, though this was unfortunately not the case.

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Current Champions League champion, Thomas Tuchel, apologised to the 22-year-old Chelsea loanee after bumping into his over the international break and recalled their conversation.

Tuchel said: “I had the chance to speak to Conor, I could also see his frustration. We met some weeks ago, after the national break by coincidence. We ran into each other in a restaurant and we had a chat.

“The subject came up, I apologised because I know how competitive he is and I like him a lot.

“This is the way it is. We play to win the game and the rules were clear when we made the loan.”

Gallagher return is a boost

The midfielder’s return to first-team action will be music to the ears of the Palace faithful and his manager.

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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...

His impact for the Eagles this season cannot be underestimated, with his part in Vieira’s set-up this season proving vital in the attacking third.

The £17k-per-week dynamo has produced eight goals and three assists in 27 Premier League appearances for the Selhurst Park side this season.

Though his defensive ability has been a shining light for Palace, with his average of 6.6 pressures in the attacking third per 9o placing him within an astonishingly high percentile of 98 amongst positionally similar places across the top five leagues in Europe through out the last year, as per FB Ref.

Gallagher’s return serves as a major boost for Crystal Palace, who will be making the most of his time with the Eagles, amidst his uncertain future.

In other news: Vieira eyes CPFC move for “sensational” £14k-pw maestro, it could be bye-bye Gallagher

Article title: Crystal Palace: Vieira handed boost ahead of Newcastle clash

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