BY SAM SMITH
Roy Hodgson has named a 24-man Crystal Palace squad to travel to Switzerland to take part in the 55th edition of the Uhrencup.
The Eagles face Europa League outfit FC Luzern on Tuesday, July 9, and reigning Swiss Super League champions BSC Young Boys on Saturday, July 13 in the round robin competition.
The Uhrencup, which bills itself as “the oldest international football preparation tournament”, is in its 55th edition and consists of four clubs who each play two matches. German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt will also participate but will not face the south Londoners.
The previous two winners of the competition are English – Stoke City were victorious in 2017 before Wolverhampton Wanderers won last summer. There had not been an English winner since Ipswich Town in 1963.
And Hodgson – who managed Switzerland between 1993 and 1995 – has named his strongest available squad to face the Swiss Super League pair, while seven of the club’s development squad players join the first team.
The only notable omissions are Wilfried Zaha – the subject of interest from Arsenal – and Cheikhou Kouyate, who are both playing at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Patrick van Aanholt is included despite being granted a longer summer break after taking part in the Nations League – where his Netherlands side lost to Portugal in the final after beating England.
Alexander Sorloth also returns having spent the second half of last season on loan at KAA Gent in Belgium.
The seven academy graduates to travel are defenders Sam Woods, Tyrick Mitchell and Nikola Tavares, midfielders Kian Flanagan, Luke Dreher, Nya Kirby, and forward James Daly.
Full squad: Vicente Guaita, Wayne Hennessey, Joel Ward, Martin Kelly, James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho, Scott Dann, Sam Woods, Nikola Tavares, Patrick van Aanholt, Tyrick Mitchell, Jairo Riedewald, Luka Milivojevic, Jeffrey Schlupp, James McArthur, Luke Dreher, Kian Flanagan, Nya Kirby Max Meyer, Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke, Alexander Sorloth, James Daly & Connor Wickham.
IMAGE BY KEITH GILLARD