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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Pienaar To Miss Chelsea


Roberto Martinez has confirmed Steven Pienaar will miss Saturday evening’s Premier League match against Chelsea.

But Roberto Martinez is ‘positive’ that Romelu Lukaku will be able to play against his former club.

The two players limped out of the 2-2 draw with Arsenal at the weekend.

Pienaar was forced from the field after just 10 minutes due to a groin problem, while Lukaku soldiered through the majority of the game before being replaced a quarter of an hour before the end with a toe complaint.

“They have both been assessed,” said Martinez at his Tuesday morning media briefing. “Stevie P is going to miss the game at the weekend. He is the one that is going to take a little bit of time.

“Stevie is going to be out and he is going to join Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo who are the only other two players that are not available.

“Romelu, we will keep assessing him. He has reacted well in the 48 hours after the game.

“At the moment it is too early to know if he will be available at the weekend but I am quite positive with Rom.”

Martinez also revealed that Darron Gibson is now operating at full fitness and is in contention to force his way into the matchday squad for the visit of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.

The former Manchester United midfielder, who missed the vast majority of last season with a long-term knee injury, was used sparingly throughout pre-season and was not named in the squad for the first two matches against Leicester City and Arsenal.

“Darron Gibson is fully fit and I consider him part of the squad,” added Martinez. “He will be ready from now on to join the group and compete for a place.”

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