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Crystal Palace back at Selhurst Park for Leeds United match


THE race for the Premier League is well and truly on, and today Crystal Palace are back at fortress Selhurst Park to welcome Leeds United.

Tuesday's fantastic win over Hull City, coupled with Cardiff City's draw to Derby County, could mean the title is not completely out of reach for Ian Holloway's men.

Of course, Watford hold that second automatic spot but Palace are now just two points away from them, and some may argue the Hornets have a tougher run-in than the Eagles, with Hull, Cardiff and Leicester still to play.

But the Championship is a difficult league with many quality players, and it does not get any harder for Palace against a Leeds side currently looking to make a late burst into the play-offs.

And that's all before next Sunday's huge clash down at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Former Palace boss Neil Warnock returns to Selhurst Park once again, three years after departing for QPR, but will he get a reaction similar to that Steve Bruce got on Tuesday night?

Jazz Richards looks set to miss out again due to a toe injury, so Kagisho Dikgacoi may continue to fill in at right-back though Jonathan Parr is an option there.

And Holloway has revealed how the injury came about for the loan defender. "We've had a scan on his foot," he said. "Because his left big toe was so sore, he didn't feel the pain he had in his right foot.

"It actually got better and he trained the other day, but I asked him when we had our team meeting and he said he was a nine-out-of-ten, fitness-wise.

"But he had to go back in as it was his other foot, so we'll take a look at it and see where we are."

It will be interesting to see who starts in midfield, with the likes of Stephen Dobbie and Andre Moritz possibly looking for starts, although Jacob Butterfield and Jonny Williams stepped up to the plate on Tuesday.

Kevin Phillips says he does not expect to start, despite his hat-trick against Hull, so maybe we'll see Dobbie recalled to play in behind Glenn Murray.

And Yannick Bolasie will be hoping to start after a bright introduction from the bench in midweek.

Leeds go into the match in good form and have built up a string of positive results in recent games.

They were pegged back by a late equaliser on Tuesday at Leicester City and Warnock was disappointed not to have come away with another three points.

"Everyone was so disappointed in the dressing room," he said. "I thought we played well against a team who have spent a lot of money and have a big wage bill, and we played some good football.

"We should have so many more points than we have, but the lads are working as hard as they can."

There is no doubt that Leeds' attack is the strongest part of their side, with Luke Varney, former Norwich man Steve Morison and Palace's transfer target last summer, Ross McCormack.

Varney is more likely to operate from a wider area and possesses good pace, while the other two are lethal in front of goal if given a chance.

It could prove to be a tougher outing for the Eagles backline this time around compared to Hull City, who did not have a recognised striker on Tuesday, just a number of attacking midfielders filling the void.

And of course, Leeds have El Hadji Diouf in their ranks, so they will definitely pose a bigger threat come 3pm.

A win could take Palace into second if Watford lose at home to Blackpool, while Hull do not play until Monday night, at Burnley.

Crystal Palace back at Selhurst Park for Leeds United match

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