Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew believes his Sunderland counterpart Sam Allardyce is one of the strongest managers in the Premier League.
The Eagles are getting ready to host Allardyce’s Sunderland on Monday, 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.
“I will expect a Sam Allardyce team to turn up and try their best to get a victory.”
Allardyce has been in charge of the Black Cats since the beginning of October, after previous manager 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.
“I know every time I come up against a Sam Allardyce team I know they have what they are trying to achieve in place and he has a team that knows how to play Premier League games – he’s going to go and try and win the game.”
Palace will come into the game after a 2-1 win against Liverpool and the 54-year-old said: “For us we are in good shape. We had a great victory in our last game and one or two players have come back to us this week.
“(Marouane) Chamakh will be involved in the game, Connor Wickham will be involved in the game, we’ve got the guys who were playing at Liverpool involved in the game. 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.
“Yohan (Cabaye) and Chamakh are important over these next few games. I don’t expect Sunderland or Newcastle to come and dictate the game to us. The emphasis is on us to try to break them down, to try to score and to try to win the game.”