Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew is relishing a “real test” against Manchester United, adding it was “about time” they beat the Red Devils.
Palace have lost their last three matches with the 5-1 reverse at City coming on the back of league defeats to West Ham and Leicester.
Injuries have hit them hard, but Pardew hopes to have the likes of Joel Ward, Connor Wickham and Marouanne Chamakh back to full fitness after the international break.
“We have Manchester United and then Liverpool, so this little run is a real test,” he added.
“But I still think if a bit of fortune had gone our way we could have picked up points. There is a lot of good news in the background here in terms of the injuries we have had.
“If we can pick up some points in the next two games I’ll be really happy, then we will be well set for Newcastle after the international break.
“I’m looking forward to Manchester United. It will be a great occasion. We are very proud to have them here for the third year running, it’s the first time that has happened, and it’s about time Crystal Palace beat United.
“It’s going to be important that our fans stick with us, particularly after a couple of defeats and with the way United play.
“They lull the stadium and take the positivity out of it by keeping possession. We have to keep it bubbling along.
“If we can stay in the game until the last 15 minutes we have a chance of winning it.”
Pardew also intends to keep a firm watch on Wayne Rooney, who he still believes to be a major threat at Selhurst Park despite his poor recent form.
The England captain has scored just two Premier League goals this season and missed a penalty as United crashed out of the Capital One Cup at home to Middlesbrough in midweek.
“I think Wayne, throughout most of his career, has been at the top of the pitch or just back one in the number 10 role,” said Pardew.
“He plays both roles very well. He is at the top of the pitch now and maybe he is not getting the service he would probably want in that.
“I can see a little bit of frustration in him but that makes him dangerous. Rooney has proved many times, particularly when he gets criticism, that he can deliver.
“We’ll be on our guard for Wayne. He’s an outstanding player, he’s the England captain and we’ll give him the respect he deserves.”
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