No fresh injury concerns at Palace


Published: Sunday 5th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has no fresh injury concerns ahead of his side’s Barclays Premier League match at home to Manchester City on Monday.

Strikers Marouane Chamakh and Fraizer Campbell are both out with hamstring injuries while midfielder Jordon Mutch remains sidelined with a thigh strain.

Eagles captain Mile Jedinak is also unavailable as he serves the last of a four-match suspension, with Palace looking to record their fourth win in five league matches.

The Eagles still have four of the table’s top five teams to play and Pardew has challenged his side to carry their form against the lower teams into a game against one of the bigger sides.

“One of the important games this season was against Arsenal when we tried to compete with them toe to toe and gave a very good account of ourselves against a top team,” Pardew said.

“We have done very well against the teams that are in and around us and played well in those games.

“Against the top teams – Southampton, Liverpool, Arsenal – we have been really close without toppling any of them.

“So that is the next step for me and we have a great opportunity because we also have Man United as well as City at home and Chelsea and Liverpool away.”

“One of those games I would like to think we can win.”

City are hoping to close a six-point gap on league leaders Chelsea, who also have a game in hand.

Palace lost 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season but Pardew is optimistic his players can surprise the reigning champions.

“We will go on Monday night expecting to take the game to Man City,” Pardew added.

“I don’t expect to beat them but I do expect us to push Man City and if we get ourselves in front this team could see it out.

“If we get to 15 minutes to go and are still leading, this team is one of the few that could see Man City off.”

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has warned his side must overcome a difficult obstacle at Palace to avoid losing yet more ground to their rivals.

Fading champions City had to watch in frustration on Saturday, not only as Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League, but as Arsenal and Manchester United shunted them down to fourth.

Slipping to such a position was not in the script when City pulled level with Chelsea on New Year’s Day and any further slips would increase the pressure on Pellegrini significantly.

With the Manchester derby coming next week, City can ill afford to drop points at Selhurst Park on Monday but Pellegrini knows the Eagles have become a tough proposition under Pardew.

Pellegrini said: “Maybe they are playing different. They are in a good moment and they are playing with a lot of trust.

“With the other manager also Crystal Palace was a difficult team, but now they are playing at home.”

City laboured to a 3-0 win over Palace at the Etihad Stadium in December, in what proved Neil Warnock’s penultimate match in charge.

Pardew was appointed early in the new year and since then they have proved highly resilient, losing just three times in the Premier League and removing relegation fears.

The Monday fixture has meant both sides have had to be patient for their return to action after the international break.

It is a wait that could have been advantageous in terms of extra rest had their rivals lost over the weekend but Pellegrini claims it does not make any difference.

The Chilean said: “I don’t think we have excuses about those things. We are going to play the last game of this matchday but that doesn’t matter.

“It is not an excuse and not an advantage. All the national players arrived back on Wednesday – most of them – so every team had three or four days to prepare. It is not so important.”

Published: Sunday 5th April 2015 by The News Editor

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