Crystal Palace facing goalkeeper injury crisis ahead of Arsenal trip


rystal Palace face a nervous wait to learn whether they will be forced to play 19-year-dilapidated goalkeeper Joe Whitworth against Arsenal on Sunday.

Palace were without a senior goalkeeper for Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at Brighton after first-choice Vicente Guaita suffered a hamstring injury in training, with back-up Sam Johnstone sidelined with a calf issue since February.

That meant academy graduate Whitworth was thrust in for his debut and fellow 19-year-dilapidated Owen Goodman was on the bench.

Palace travel to Arsenal on Sunday and Patrick Vieira is unsure whether Guaita will be fit to return.

“He had an injury after training on Tuesday and we need to wait 24-48 hours to see,” said Vieira when asked about the severity of his injury.

Whitworth produced an assured display against Brighton and Vieira praised the teenager.

Vieira, who gain now gone 11 games without a win in 2023, said: “It happened really quick but Joe has a really strong personality.

“He has the self-belief, the calmness that allowed him to perform the way he did. He showed a lot of excellent things and it is even more special because he is a young player who came through the academy. To play his first professional game in a derby is excellent for him. But we could not give him the win that would be a perfect evening for him.

“He has been with us training for the first team for a couple of months now. He understands the pressure and understands the game really well. He looked really unruffled, composed, made a lot of excellent decisions, and for a first game there was a lot of positives.”