Belfast Telegraph

Emmanuel Adebayor and Connor Wickham can 'terrorise defences' - Alan Pardew

Crystal Palace target men Emmanuel Adebayor and Connor Wickham can "terrorise defences" to put the squeeze on Arsenal this Sunday, according to Alan Pardew.

Arsenal old boy Adebayor and Wickham will most likely share the duties of leading Palace's line in Sunday's Emirates Stadium Premier League clash.

And Palace boss Pardew hopes between them his two battering ram striking options can cause mayhem in Arsenal's defence - the way Andy Carroll unsettled the Gunners to grab a hat-trick in West Ham's 3-3 draw last weekend.

"Players of that size, power and pace can terrorise defences," said Pardew, with Palace again without the injured Dwight Gayle this weekend.

"And that's what we want Connor (Wickham) and Ade (Adebayor) to do for us.

"Connor's had some terrific games for us but just not enough of them.

"We've really missed his presence at times, we took Adebayor in the last window because we were struggling to get Connor on the pitch.

"And Ade played well against Everton when he came on, so now Connor's got competition, he's got to stay fit."

Carroll's seven-minute hat-trick caught Arsenal cold at Upton Park last weekend, earning the Hammers a hard-fought Premier League draw.

Pardew has called on Wickham and Adebayor to fight for a repeat performance this weekend, as Palace aim to cement their top-flight safety at Arsenal.

Adebayor made more than 100 appearances between 2006 and 2009 at Arsenal, and joined Palace in January after being released by Tottenham following a protracted contract stand-off.

Pardew managed Carroll at Newcastle and echoed West Ham boss Slaven Bilic's recent comments that target men must work hard to stay in top condition.

"I had Andy Carroll and I heard Slaven Bilic at West Ham saying last week that the big guys, they need to really focus on looking after themselves," said Pardew.

"And they are both heavy and aggressive players, who are quick, and that does make them more prone to injuries than most players.

"So they need to protect themselves in training sometimes and certainly protect themselves when they get injured, and look after themselves.

"And Connor we are educating on that front.

"It's been stop-start with injuries for Connor and he hasn't had a run at it.

"We've been pleased with his progress and next year if we can stop this run of injuries he gets we can have a good player on our hands."


From Belfast Telegraph