Home Sports Zaha and Ayew lead African quartet as Crystal Palace resume training

Zaha and Ayew lead African quartet as Crystal Palace resume training

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Cote d’Ivoire international Wilfried Zaha led a quartet of African players who took part in Crystal Palace’s return to training, ahead of a potential Premier League return.

Ghana’s duo of Jordan Ayew and Jeffrey Schlupp, as well as Senegal’s midfield stalwart Cheikhou Kouyate, complete a list of Africans who took part in a series of drills at the Copers Cope Road.

Upon arrival in selected parking zones, the players had their temperatures taken in their cars, filled in a questionnaire on an app, and only when clear were they allowed to leave their vehicles which are parked more than two metres from one another.

The non-contact session in small groups is part of Phase 1 of the Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’, which allows footballers build up pitch-conditioning and taking part in basic ball work with social distancing guidelines maintained at all times. Only in Phase 2 will larger group sessions and contact be allowed.

The English elite division was suspended owing to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives globally – which has led to the Netherlands, France and Belgium cancelling the rest of the 2019-20 campaign.

However, the Premier League looks set to resume in June as representatives from all 20 clubs, league officials, as well as medical professionals, agreed through a video conference call to stage one of the return to training protocols.

Roy Hodgson’s men are 11th in the log having accrued 39 points in 29 league appearances – six points below Manchester United who occupy the last spot for a place in the Europa League.

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Before the league was placed on hiatus, the Selhurst Park were on a run of three straight wins with their last outing a 1-0 home triumph over Watford.

The 27-year-old Zaha so far this term boasts of three league goals in 29 appearances for the Eagles, while ex-Swansea forward Ayew accounts for eight strikes in 28 encounters he participated in.

For defender Schlupp, he has featured in 14 ties so far this term and has found the net just two times from his defensive position. Kouyate on his part has hit the target once in 27 English top-flight games.

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