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Holloway pins hopes on Zaha

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway hopes Wilfried Zaha can fire them to Wembley.

Last Updated: 12/05/13 at 14:33 Post Comment

Wilfried Zaha: Heading to Manchester United

Wilfried Zaha: Heading to Manchester United

The 20-year-old winger, who is joining Manchester United in the summer, is desperate to sign off by helping the Eagles to promotion.

Zaha made his final appearance at Selhurst Park on Friday night as the first leg of the npower Championship play-off semi-final against Brighton ended goalless.

Palace will head to the Amex for the return leg as underdogs, especially after 30-goal top scorer Glenn Murray was ruled out with a suspected cruciate injury.

But Zaha is expected to shake off an ankle knock in time to pick where he left off in the second half at Selhurst, where he gave Brighton right-back Inigo Calderon a torrid time.

"He's such a threat," said manager Ian Holloway. "I thought Wayne Bridge marked him well in the first half but we switched him at half-time, and the other fella didn't mark him quite as well.

"He got at Calderon I thought. He put in one cross and Jonny Williams almost got his studs on it and we needed something like that.

"He's got a sore ankle so we're hoping he's okay."

Seagulls boss Gus Poyet says the tie is now "60-40" in his side's favour and the form book suggests he is right.

Brighton are now undefeated in 10 matches while Palace have won once in 11 and were thumped 3-0 on their last visit to the south coast in March.

But Holloway is confident the Eagles can spring a surprise to ensure Zaha makes one last appearance in Palace colours, in the final at Wembley.

"I might think it's 60-40 in our favour," he added. "That's typical, in these games you have to talk it up. I believe in my players, Gus believes in his.

"I think now they know we are not as bad as they might have thought we were, and my lads realise 'hang on a minute, we can get at these'.

"We are not bad at soaking up pressure and then breaking. Who's to say one of my players can't nick a goal and rock their place?"

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