Crystal Palace could see their bid to remain in the Premier League derailed by an international competition taking place during the season.
The Eagles have jumped up the league with back-to-back wins over Everton and Leicester recently, taking their relegation odds to 5/2 from 13/10 just a few weeks ago.
However, manager Neil Warnock has voiced concerns about how his side will fare when captain Mile Jedinak departs for the Asia Cup in the New Year.
The Australian international will feature for the Socceroos in the tournament, which starts on January 9th, and could be out of Premier League action for up to three weeks.
Jedinak has scored two goals in his last two games, both of which Palace went on to win, and has been instrumental in all that has been good at Selhurst Park this season.
The 30-year-old midfielder could miss games against Tottenham, Burnley and Everton and the stats suggest the south Londoners will struggle without their leader.
Palace have won just one of six meetings with Spurs, two of nine with the Clarets and two of seven with the Toffees.
The most recent of those wins was last month and came thanks in part to a goal and a solid display from Jedinak.
Warnock knows his side will miss their captain but hopes that other sides losing players to the Africa Cup of Nations will level the playing field somewhat.
“We will miss him. He is the leader of the camp. Everything on and off the field revolves around him. Mile has been able to push forward more than usual this season, too, and I think he can score more goals.” he told the Evening Standard.
“There is the Africa Cup of Nations at about the same time, too, so it will be difficult for a lot of teams in the Premier League in January and February.”
Next up for Warnock’s men is a trip to the KC Stadium for which his side are priced as the 11/4 underdogs to take three points from Hull.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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