Roberto De Zerbi is giving himself as much time as possible to make a call on Joao Pedro’s fitness ahead of Brighton’s clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday.
It was a nightmare evening for the Seagulls on Tuesday as they were hammered 4-0 at Luton Town and Pedro limped out of the contest with a knee problem.
After the contest, De Zerbi said of the 22-year-old: ‘It’s too early to say, but we hope it’s not a bad injury because we need him.’
Unfortunately the Italian could still not fully answer the questions over Pedro’s fitness at a press conference on Friday, saying the forward will face a late fitness test on Saturday before the match at 3pm.
The Brighton boss did confirm that James Milner is out for some time yet, while Ansu Fati may be on the bench against the Eagles.
‘[James] Milner is not available, I think he can’t play for the next two, three, four games,’ said De Zerbi. ‘With Joao [Pedro], we’ll decide tomorrow. Ansu Fati can maybe go on the bench, [but] I don’t know how much he can play.’
De Zerbi was keen to forget about the horror show at Luton as quickly as possible, saying: ‘It’s difficult to analyse the game. We conceded two goals in two minutes – I’ve never seen this in the 30 years I’ve worked in football.
‘The game was very tough for us, but I trust my players as people. We have to change pages and think about tomorrow’s game only. We played the worst game in my time.’
On Saturday’s opponents, he said: ‘Crystal Palace are a very good team. They they have four very good attackers. They also have very important players in midfield.
‘It’s a tough game – but every game is tough. We are focused on our work and our style.’
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