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Lys Mousset reportedly set to start at Crystal Palace despite fitness concerns

Lys Mousset is in line for his second successive start for Sheffield United at Crystal Palace, reports The Sheffield Star.

It will be Mousset’s second inclusion in the starting XI in five days following the 1-0 defeat to Burnley on December 29.

This is despite the fact manager Chris Wilder only recently said the striker wasn’t ready to start for the next two months.

Mousset suffered a “rare” toe injury during pre-season. As a result, the 24-year-old only made his first appearance from the bench at the end of November.

The Frenchman has played four more times since then, although Tuesday’s loss at Turf Moor was his first start.

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Mousset was included in a front three as Wilder tweaked his tactics for the second game running.

In an effort to score more goals and secure their first win of 2020/21, the Blades boss named the former France Under-21 international upfront alongside Rhian Brewster and David McGoldrick.

It didn’t work, just as it didn’t at home to Everton on Boxing Day. United failed to score and lost 1-0 on both occasions.

They are bottom of the Premier League table and 11 points from safety having made the worst start in English top flight history.

They have just two points and are the division’s lowest scorers with only eight goals.

Why Mousset could be risked at Crystal Palace

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Wilder is having to gamble with Mousset’s fitness because of injuries and a coronavirus outbreak among the squad.

“Two or three players” are said to have missed the loss to the Clarets because of positive COVID-19 tests. It’s thought captain Billy Sharp may be among them.

Meanwhile, Oli McBurnie is currently sidelined and Oli Burke isn’t fully fit.

Burke replaced Mousset in the second half on Tuesday, but isn’t ready to start because of a back problem.

It’s as Wilder desperately tries to improve his team’s fortunes in front of goal.

Mousset was their top scorer last term with six strikes and the 53-year-old will hope he can rediscover his form as soon as possible.

Otherwise relegation could arrive far sooner than anyone expected.

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