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Crystal Palace defender withdraws from USA squad ahead of final World Cup warm-up matches

Crystal Palace defender Chris Richards has withdrawn from the United States’ penultimate set of warm-up matches ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup after picking up an injury.

Gregg Berhalter, who played for the Eagles during the 2001-02 season, will lead his side into friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia without the Alabama-born centre-back.

Richards, 22, joined the South Londoners from Bayern Munich in the summer but has yet to start a Premier League game under Patrick Vieira.

He has made three substitute appearances in the top flight since joining from the Bundesliga. He did started the second-round EFL Cup win away to Oxford United.

Wilfried Zaha has been called up by Ivory Coast for their friendlies against Togo and Guinea. Marc Guehi has been selected in Gareth Southgate’s final England squad ahead of the World Cup, with the Palace centre-back now making the last three squads in a row.

Joachim Andersen [Denmark], Jordan Ayew [Ghana] and Cheick Doucoure [Mali] have also all been selected for their respective nations during this international break.

The Eagles return from their month break of Premier League action on October 1 when they host Graham Potter’s Chelsea side at Selhurst Park.

It will be Potter’s first top-flight game as boss of the Blues.

PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD

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