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Josh Sargent sidelined by illness, could miss Norwich-Crystal Palace

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Josh Sargent went into the international break with his first two English Premier League goals of the season but may have to wait longer to add to his tally.

Sargent missed Saturday’s 1-0 FA Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers due to illness and is doubtful to rejoin Dean Smith’s squad for Wednesday’s league showdown with Crystal Palace. The U.S. men’s national team striker would be a big loss to the Canaries attack, especially with the club in good form over recent weeks.

“We’re still not sure whether he will be available,” said Smith in his press conference Tuesday, transcribed by Norfolk Live. “He is still feeling the after-effects of Saturday’s illness. “It’ll be a blow because he is a big player for us and a good player. He got his first couple of goals for us against Watford in our last Premier League game.

“He was due to play against Wolves but we performed well without him. We feel we have got players who can cover [for Sargent] but it will be a disappointing blow.”

Sargent was Man of the Match for Norwich City in a 3-0 win over Watford back on January 21, scoring his first two league goals of the season. The Missouri native had scored his first goals for the club in a 6-0 Carabao Cup win over AFC Bournemouth in August, but went 19 appearances without a goal before breaking through with his first scores in Premier League play.

Norwich City currently sits in 17th place, one point outside of the relegation zone as league play resumes this week. Sargent’s absence would leave Teemu Pukki and Adam Idah as the likely attacking duo for Smith’s squad against Crystal Palace.

“I can see confidence in the group,” said Smith. “We believed that we had a good squad and we believed that we could be competitive, but winning breeds confidence. We have got players pushing each other in training. We have got players coming back from illness and injury and the squad is looking a lot healthier now.

“The strength of our squad now is probably what pleases me most,” Smith added. “There are good players now looking to get into the team, if you are not playing well. It is difficult for me to pick my best XI.”

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