Roy Hodgson has admitted that he faces a potential reshuffle of his side for Crystal Palace’s clash with Watford on Saturday.
The Eagles are facing something of an injury crisis in defence, with as many as five players potentially missing from his defensive options.
That includes Mamadou Sakho, who is suspended after his red card against Bournemouth in midweek, while full-backs Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt are both currently injured, along with central defenders Scott Dann and Gary Cahill.
Hodgson is hopeful of having at least one of Dann or Cahill available for the trip to Vicarage Road, but he admits that late decisions will be made over their availability.
“I’m more concerned about injuries to Ward and Van Aanholt because of the shifting around players [their injuries require],” he said, speaking at his pre-match press conference.
“At centre-back, even when we lose so many as we did on Tuesday, Cheikhou Kouyate goes there as he does so often for Senegal. He’s more than capable – we use him in midfield but that’s not to say he’s not a very competent centre-back.
Hodgson added that he will need to wait until today (Friday) to determine whether Dann or Cahill may be able to play, but he confirmed that Max Meyer is unlikely to feature, having been sick all week.
If Dann and Cahill are not available, Kouyate is likely to play at centre-back alongside James Tomkins, after impressing against Bournemouth following Sakho’s dismissal.
Meanwhile, Martin Kelly and Jeffrey Schlupp are likely to continue at full-back, with Ward and van Aanholt out.