Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said his team look forward to facing Frank Lampard’s side but admitted they understand the challenge “in-form” Chelsea could pose.

Hodgson told Crystal Palace’s official website: “I thought Chelsea were looking good before the break, and they’ve continued that.

“We’ve been a bit unlucky in the sense that we got ourselves in a good position, but in this tight period, we’re playing against a lot of top teams.”

(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

The former England manager said Chelsea are “a very, very good team” with “many, many talented players” and all they can do is prepare for the battle between the two London sides.

“I know we will do our best, work very hard and make life as difficult for them as possible,” he added.

“But we 100% aware of all the challenges, with the quality that they have, that they’re going to present us.”

Hodgson confirmed Jeffrey Schlupp and James Tomkins will not be available to play against Chelsea, while Martin Kelly has stepped-up his training after making a return to part of a session last week (Crystal Palace’s official website).

On the other hand, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard ruled out three players for the fixture; Fikayo Tomori, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante.

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Lampard told Chelsea’s official website: “Kante has a low-level hamstring injury. We’re hoping it’ll be a week or so. I would expect we’ll be very lucky to have him for Sheffield United.

“[Mateo] Kovacic trained with us today, he’s not ready for this game, hopefully the next. [Fikayo] Tomori is still not ready. He had a small setback in training so hopefully next week.”

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