Palace duo Tomkins and Remy return for Liverpool trip
REUTERS - Crystal Palace defender James Tomkins and striker Loic Remy are expected to feature in Sunday's Premier League trip to third-placed Liverpool, manager Sam Allardyce said on Thursday.
With on-loan Liverpool centre back Mamadou Sakho ineligible for Sunday's Anfield visit, Allardyce was pleased to see Tomkins available as a defensive reinforcement after he recovered from a calf injury.
Midfielder James McArthur and full back Patrick van Aanholt could also return to the starting lineup at Anfield after coming on as second-half substitutes against Leicester City last weekend.
"Loic Remy and James Tomkins are back in the squad," Allardyce told reporters at a news conference. "Good to see with such a congested week coming along.
"Obviously Mama can't play, so it's important that James (Tomkins) is back. (James) McArthur's back and so is Patrick van Aanholt."
Remy has endured a stop-start season on loan from Chelsea, making only seven appearances because of injury, but has recovered from a calf strain and will be back in contention for the first time since a late substitute's appearance in the 1-0 defeat at Stoke City in February.
With five victories in their last seven games, Palace have climbed up to 15th in the league and are seven points clear of the drop zone.
Allardyce has credited Sakho for playing a crucial role at the heart of Palace defence that has sparked their recent return to form.
The 62-year-old former England manager said he wanted Sakho to stay beyond his season-long loan deal at Selhurst Park if Palace avoid relegation.
"Mama's been one of the reasons behind recovery in recent weeks," Allardyce added. "Would we like to keep him? Yes. Can't talk about it until safe."
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru,; Editing by Neville Dalton)