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Crystal Palace v Grimsby Town

Connor Wickham has not started a Premier League game for Crystal Palace this season
FA Cup third round on the BBC
Date: 4-7 January
Coverage: Live on BBC One, the BBC Sport website and app, BBC Radio 5 live, live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke has returned to training but is not yet ready to start their FA Cup tie with League Two Grimsby.

Defender Scott Dann is set for a rare start along with forward Connor Wickham at Selhurst Park.

Swedish left-back Sebastian Ring could make his debut for Grimsby in the third-round tie after signing in December.

Midfielder Elliot Embleton is eligible to play after extending his loan from Sunderland.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: “You’ll see a changed side but it’s not just a case of bringing through younger players.

“We can’t keep top, international players forever on the sidelines because we’ve been lucky enough to have a very stable and consistent first XI.

“There are a lot of players who are more than good enough to play in the Crystal Palace first team but they haven’t had a chance.”

Grimsby Town manager Michael Jolley: “Hopefully it can be a really positive day for the club.

“You have got to look at the context which is, they are a Premier League side, we are away from home and they have got multiple options in terms of the team they can select, all of which will be very strong.

“But on any given day, it’s 11 versus 11 and we shall be trying to represent Grimsby and our supporters in the best possible way that we can.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Crystal Palace have struggled for goals at home all season, scoring only five in 10 league matches, but they have still been creating chances and I think they will find a way to squeak past Grimsby.

Prediction: 1-0

Lawro’s full FA Cup third-round predictions v Radio One DJ Annie Mac

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • This will be just the second FA Cup meeting between Crystal Palace and Grimsby and the first since February 1908, when second tier Grimsby beat non-league Crystal Palace 1-0.
  • Palace have won seven of their past eight home games against Grimsby in all competitions, though this is their first such meeting since November 2002.

Crystal Palace

  • The last time Crystal Palace lost an FA Cup game on home soil against a side from a lower division came back in the 1984-85 season when they suffered a 1-2 defeat in a third round replay against Millwall.

Grimsby

  • Grimsby have won just one of their past 13 away FA Cup games against top-tier sides, a 2-1 victory against Middlesbrough in the third round in 1988-89 competition.
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