Burnley face a nervous wait on the fitness of Jay Rodriguez ahead of Monday night’s visit to Crystal Palace.
The 30-year-old scored the Clarets’ winner against Watford yesterday but, as per Lancashire Live, Sean Dyche revealed afterwards that the striker took a knock to his ankle and was suffering from a hamstring strain upon being substituted shortly after his goal.
The Burnley boss added that it will be a waiting game to see whether the forward will be fit enough to feature at Selhurst Park in three days’ time.
With Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes also sidelined, Rodriguez and Matej Vydra were left as Burnley’s only two available senior strikers, so Dyche is clearly going to be sweating on the fitness of the ex-Southampton man ahead of Monday’s trip to London.
It isn’t just in terms of playing quantity that the potential absence of the 30-year-old would be a significant blow, either – his tally of nine goals for the season is the second highest in the Clarets’ squad, two behind Wood and three more than Barnes. Aside from that trio, the only only player with more than two goals for Burnley this term is Jeff Hendrick, who is on his way out of Turf Moor. [via TransferMarkt]
If Rodriguez can’t make the trip to Selhurst Park, it will leave Dyche with a hefty selection dilemma – either deviate from his preferred 4-4-2 formation, pigeon-hole an attacking midfield player into a centre-forward role or look to the Clarets’ academy ranks for a replacement.
Dyche and Burnley fans will, of course, be fervently hoping that Rodriguez will be fit enough to take on Crystal Palace given his scoring threat and the dearth of centre-forward alternatives.
Could Burnley beat Crystal Palace without Jay Rodriguez?
If he doesn’t make it, though, there could be a chance for young Max Thompson to make his full Clarets debut. The 18-year-old came off the bench towards the end of the 5-0 defeat at Manchester City earlier this week and, as a centre-forward, would be a natural (albeit very inexperienced) replacement for Rodriguez.
Burnley fans, how big a blow would it be if Rodriguez is unavailable for the Crystal Palace game? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!
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