Rio Ferdinand left ‘BAFFLED’ after Crystal Palace attempted to get their Boxing Day clash against Tottenham postponed… before making just ONE CHANGE to their starting XI, as Peter Crouch urges the Premier League to be quicker in their decision making
- Rio Ferdinand was left ‘baffled’ by Crystal Palace’s strong lineup against Spurs
- The London club launched an appeal to call off the game due to a Covid outbreak
- Their request was turned down by the Premier League early on Sunday morning
- Manager Patrick Vieira is absent having tested positive for coronavirus
- They made just one change to the starting XI from their draw with Southampton
Rio Ferdinand has been left ‘baffled’ by Crystal Palace’s attempt to postpone their Boxing Day clash against Tottenham after making just one change to their starting XI, having launched an official request to call the game off.
Sportsmail understands the London club submitted a request to the Premier League for the fixture to be postponed earlier this morning, which was turned down.
Manager Patrick Vieira is absent having tested positive, with his No 2 Osian Roberts taking temporary charge, but Palace were able to name a strong team on Sunday, with Tottenham the side making more changes.
Rio Ferdinand admitted he couldn’t understand why Crystal Palace attempting to postpone their Boxing Day clash against Tottenham
Included in Palace’s starting XI is Wilfried Zaha, Conor Gallagher, Odsonne Edouard and Jordan Ayew, while Marc Guehi is the only outfield player who started their recent 2-2 draw against to miss out, though not entirely, as he drops to the bench.
Vicente Guaita, Luka Milivojevic, Eberechi Eze, Christian Benteke and Nathaniel Clyne are among those absent, while Palace were only able to name seven substitutes out of a possible nine.
‘I think looking at the faces that are coming back from injury, and players that won’t necessarily be in the starting XI, especially this season, it was a bit strange to see them make an application to have the game postponed,’ Ferdinand said on BT Sport.
‘I’m sure it will come out in the wash at some point down the line, as to why and what the reasons were. They’re very professional there. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes.
‘In this period now, I think they’re in a good position in terms of having the personnel that’s been there consistently to play. They’ve made the least changes out of the two sides.
‘Making the application to change baffles me, but I don’t think they’ll be too bothered that it hasn’t been green-lighted.’
Palace manager Patrick Vieira has tested positive for Covid, meaning he misses the match
Spurs have already seen a number of fixtures postponed this month due to their own outbreak
Neither Palace or Tottenham were able to officially confirm that the Boxing Day clash was going ahead until shortly after 11.30am on Sunday morning, despite reports of a possible postponement.
Reports emerged on Saturday evening that the fixture was set to be called off due to a number of Covid cases within the Palace camp, after manager Vieira expressed his concern about the situation during his press conference on Friday.
An abundance of fans on both sides were left confused and angered by the lack of communication from both the clubs and the Premier League.
Peter Crouch, speaking alongside Ferdinand, insisted the Premier League need to be much clearer in the future, for the sake of the fans.
He said: ‘In these situations, you need clarity. I was looking at social media, people were travelling from Ireland and other places. I think the decision needs to be made quicker.
‘It was made too late today for everybody travelling and going to the game. There was a huge rumour it was going to get called off. If we know earlier, it would be a lot better, a lot clearer.’
Upon the announcement of the starting lineups, a number of fans were also left bemused by the London club’s request to call the game off.
A number of Tottenham fans were angered as Palace announced a near full strength XI