Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha looks set for his first start of the season when the Eagles travel to Sheffield United. Zaha spent most of the summer looking to get away from the club and was close to a move to both Arsenal and Everton at different times, with Everton very close to landing him, but neither side came up with the £80m wanted by Palace.
Roy Hodgson then left him out of the starting XI which fought out a goalless draw with Everton last weekend and he remained on the bench until about 25 minutes before the end.
This week, as Hodgson takes his side to Bramall Lane, he is likely to get a start.
Related: Zaha Ponders Palace Future
Both James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho are still recovering from their respective injury problems and are unlikely to feature but there could be a debut for summer signing Gary Cahill, Victor Camarasa and James McCarthy stepped up their preparations with minutes for the Under-23s against Birmingham on Monday and will hope to feature.
Palace’s first away game last season also came against opposition who had just been promoted and they made the most of Fulham’s naivety to come away with a win. They will be hopeful of doing the same thing again this weekend against a Blades side who will be roared on to attack by a packed home crowd, while Zaha and co will be looking to counter-attack and spoil the party.
Sheffield United got a late equaliser at Bournemouth last Saturday to open their account on their return to the Premier League following their promotion last season.
Boss Chris Wilder is unlikely to make wholesale changes from that side but he has plenty of options to play with after signing 10 new players over the summer and he may tweak the side a little.
New signing Ravel Morrison is pushing to make his first start for the club after he arrived on a free from Ostersund.
Wilder has been quick to praise his attitude and has hinted he may get a start. “Ravel’s attitude has been spot on,” Wilder said.
“He gives us something different. He was unfortunate he didn’t get out there. We just wanted to get another midfielder in the group.”
Veteran striker Billy Sharp got the all-important goal at Bournemouth but is not expected to start on Saturday, while there could be full home debuts for new signings Oliver McBurnie and Luke Freeman after both came off the bench last week.