Crystal Palace v Spurs: The lowdown on Alan Pardew’s Eagles
PUBLISHED: 09:00 09 January 2015
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Tottenham travel to Selhust Park for a London derby against Crystal Palace tomorrow. Charlie Dear gives you the lowdown on the Eagles as their new manager Alan Pardew prepares for his first league game in charge.
It has only been a month since Spurs drew 0-0 with Palace at White Hart Lane, but they are set to encounter a very different outfit at Selhurst Park on Saturday, writes Charlie Dear.
Neil Warnock, who replaced Tony Pulis as manager at the beginning of the season, was in the dug-out on December 6 and perhaps his two most influential players – captain Mile Jedinak and the mesmirising Yannick Bolasie – played key roles in a game the Eagles probably deserved to win.
However, as the teams take to the field in south London this weekend, Alan Pardew will be in charge of Palace, taking charge of his first league game at his new club – and he will be without both Jedinak and Bolasie.
The duo are away on international duty, Bolasie as part of the Congo squad going to the African Cup of Nations and Jedinak in the Australian party heading for the Asian Cup.
Pardew takes the reins with Palace in 18th place in the top flight – a point from safety – and the 53-year-old manager, who was also a player at Selhurst Park, will soon learn about the depth of his squad as he looks for others to fill the void over the next few weeks.
Since their point at the Lane, the Eagles have only managed three draws and three points from their five league games, which resulted in Warnock’s dismissal – but Pardew did get a morale-boosting 4-0 win away at Dover in the FA Cup at the weekend.
The new boss has had recent success over Spurs in his days with Newcastle, winning his last two league fixtures at the Lane, including a 2-1 victory in October – but Spurs got revenge with a 4-0 victory in the quarter-final of the Capital One Cup last month.
Ones to watch:
With Bolasie and Jedinak – their top scorer in the league – unavailable, Palace may look to Wilfried Zaha to provide the spark.
The 22-year-old – back on loan at the club where he made his name after a turbulent time at Manchester United – will hope he can impress his new manager and put his patchy form behind him.
In his first spell at the club, Zaha lit up Selhurst Park with his direct approach and array of tricks and skills. He even won an England call-up while playing in the Championship, being selected for a friendly game against Sweden in November 2012 and coming off the bench to replace fellow debutant Raheem Sterling.
Striker Kevin Doyle, who is on loan from Wolves, opened his account for Palace in their victory against Dover, while centre-back Scott Dann scored twice and Dwight Gayle was also on target.
Record signing James McArthur, who arrived for £7million in the summer, will be looking to cement a place in midfield.
Spurs are in good form at present and will be buoyant coming off the back of a confidence-boosting 5-3 win over league leaders Chelsea in their last Premier League outing.
Meanwhile, the Palace players will be doing everything to impress their new manager in his first league game – and Pardew will be hoping to get that immediate boost that so often accompanies a new face in the dug-out.
Spurs could certainly win this but we’ll go for a 2-2 draw.