​Former ​Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has said that ​Crystal Palace must keep talisman Wilfried Zaha fit, if they are to avoid relegation from the ​Premier League.


The Palace winger made his first appearance in over a month as a half time substitute the ​Eagles suffered a 2-1 defeat to defending Premier League Champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.

Speaking about Palace's survival hopes on the BBC programme Football Focus this weekend, the ​Croydon Advertiser quotes Lawrenson as saying:  "It is doubly hard [for Palace].


"The manager [Roy Hodgson] has got the experience." adding that: "With Palace, they have already been down there, so they know what it is like."


Comparing The Eagles with their relegation rivals, Lawrenson went onto say: "West Ham are being drawn back into it, but it is such a finite thing. I think they [Palace] will be ok, but stating the bleeding obvious, they need [Wilfried] Zaha back in."

The defeat to ​Chelsea was only the sixth Palace have suffered in Zaha's 21 league appearances this season, while they have yet to pick up a single league point in a game not featuring the Ivory Coast winger this season.