Hodgson confident Benteke will be fit for Everton clash, unsure over Loftus-Cheek

Christian Benteke has not played for seven weeks but could be set to return for the weekend clash against fellow strugglers Everton.

Roy Hodgson has revealed that Christian Benteke looks set to return for Saturday's visit of Everton, but has cast doubt over Ruben Loftus-Cheek's involvement.

Benteke has not featured for the Eagles since coming off early in the 5-0 thumping at Manchester City on 23 September with a knee injury.

Loftus-Cheek, meanwhile, lasted just 30 minutes of England's game against Brazil on Tuesday with a back injury after making a sparkling international debut in last week's draw with Germany.

"Christian Benteke has trained all week which is very positive," said Palace boss Hodgson on Thursday.

"We hope Christian can play a big part for us now going forward but it must be remembered he hasn't played for seven weeks, but it's good because he is physically fit to play and I certainly don't see it as a risk playing him.

"He has worked very hard to get himself 100 per cent fit and has had a number of training sessions this week.

"We are assessing Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has a back spasm, but he hasn't trained today and we probably won't know until tomorrow or even on Saturday."

Palace are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League with just four points from 11 games.