Belfast Telegraph

Crystal Palace v Sunderland: Alan Pardew maintains the utmost respect for rival Sam Allardyce

By PA Reporter

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew believes Sam Allardyce is one of the strongest managers in the Premier League.

The Eagles are getting ready to host Allardyce's Sunderland tonight but while the Black Cats are 19th, Pardew is not feeling overly confident.

"I never fancy my chances against a Sam Allardyce team, he's got a knowledge and a respect from me that I will take into the game," said Pardew.

"I expect a Sam Allardyce team to turn up and try their best to get a victory."

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Allardyce has been in charge of the Black Cats since the beginning of October after Dick Advocat left the club.

Pardew said: "Its a good club, its a big club and Sam understands that.

"He's worked in the north-east and he knows that both clubs up there are everything to the fans, so he will be looking to rekindle them and get them up and running.

"He's a great choice because he knows the division and if anyone is going to resurrect their season it will be Big Sam.

"(Marouane) Chamakh and Connor Wickham will be involved. We've got a strong hand."

Pardew has a couple of injury issues, adding: "Dwight Gayle is still out, Bakary Sako may not train but we think he will still make the game."

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