Batshuayi in line for first Palace start against Doncaster, says Hodgson
Michy Batshuayi could make his first Crystal Palace start in Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round clash at Doncaster Rovers but manager Roy Hodgson has ruled out wholesale changes against the League One outfit.
Batshuayi, who has come off the bench twice since joining on loan from Chelsea following a spell with Valencia in Spain, could add a new dimension to the Palace attack with his explosive pace and work rate.
When asked if the Belgium striker will force his way into the starting lineup, Hodgson said: “I have not decided on that yet but it could happen.
“He is a very lively character and is pleased to be back in London. He knows some of the other players, they’ve made him feel welcome in training and in the matches he’s played so far.
“He has been everything we hoped he would be.”
Hodgson may have to rely on Batshuayi at the Keepmoat Stadium after all as forward Wilfried Zaha lost his appeal against the additional match attached to his original one-game suspension for being sent off last month.
Zaha was charged with improper conduct by the FA and fined 10,000 pounds ($12,849) for his behaviour after being shown a red card against Southampton in the Premier League.
“The appeal was dismissed by an Independent Regulatory Commission today,” the FA said in a statement.
REUTERS/Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru Editing by Christian Radnedge