Dean Jones has revealed that Aleksandar Mitrovic is a doubt to start against Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, providing a potential boost for the Eagles.
Jones claimed that he doesn’t think that Mitrovic will start the game with his foot troubles continuing to affect him, as he revealed he contacted an insider at Fulham who relayed such fears.
Jones spoke about Mitrovic’s injury on the latest episode of Chasing Green Arrows with it not looking promising for the Serbian.
He said: “It seems very unlikely that he plays. I mean, the fact that there’s still doubt this close to the game suggests to me he’s not going to play.
“I did try and get a steer from someone at the club today. His hunch too was that he won’t start the game, from what he’s seen around the place.
“Obviously he had the foot injury already going into the World Cup. He was always going to play in the World Cup; this is Mitrovic – he would’ve just played through pain, and now we’re probably feeling the effects of him playing through games that he probably shouldn’t have played in if he had this injury.”
TIF Thoughts on Jones’ comments…
Mitrovic has struggled for fitness since he damaged his foot playing for Serbia in the international break prior to the World Cup, with him seemingly not fully fit to play in Qatar nor for Fulham in the weeks leading up to the tournament.
We think the stats could suggest the 28-year-old’s absence will be a huge boost for Palace as they look to begin the Premier League restart with a positive result.
The Eagles fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Nottingham Forest in their last outing but will be hoping the potential early team news will see them fare better in this London derby.
When the Serbian doesn’t play. The Whites have lost all three Premier League games he’s been injured for so far, as well as the Newcastle United game where he was subbed off in the first half.
Meanwhile, even though he may yet be available from the bench, Mitrovic is still yet to score or assist against Palace in six games played against them, with only two wins coming in those encounters.
Vieira will be hoping that run goes on, and with him a huge doubt to start, Palace may see this as the perfect opportunity to claim three points upon the league’s return.