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Crystal Palace beat Brighton without Zaha but Hodgson wants to go back

Eagles boss is thrilled with his side’s victory over the Seagulls without some of his key players and anxiously awaits their return

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has revealed his desire to see injured star striker Wilfried Zaha return to his side soon.

The Eagles won a 2-1 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion in Monday’s Premier League game without the Ivorian international, who has been injured since February 2.

After Joel Veltman called off Jean-Philippe Mateta’s strike, Christian Benteke went on to score the winning goal to death to ensure the Eagles got all three points in the game.

Zaha suffered a hamstring injury against Newcastle United and did not play when Palace suffered back-to-back defeats to Leeds United and Burnley.

The 22-year-old winger has played a key role in ensuring the Eagles retain their Premier League status.

Palace have struggled to win games without the striker, losing 18 of their last 21 top-level matches in England while not playing.

Hodgson praised his side for winning without Zaha but revealed his desire to see striker, Ghana international Jeff Schlupp and other players come back from their injury problems.

“It was mentioned in the locker room [about winning without Zaha], but I also have to add – as I’ve done a few times – that it would still be very, very nice to get it back, ”Hodgson said, according to News from London.

“People have to remember that we are playing without five regular first team players. We have two central defenders [out] to Tomkins and Sakho, midfielders to Jeff Schlupp and James McArthur – and Wilf Zaha.

“I would challenge any team, if you take out players of that quality, to continue playing maybe at the level they have played up to this point.

Zaha has scored nine goals and provided two assists in 19 Premier League games this season, amid other dazzling displays.

The forward is expected to come back from his hamstring injury issues when Crystal Palace takes on Fulham on February 28.

The Eagles are 13th in the Premier League table after collecting 32 points in 25 games.

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