A mischievous Alan Pardew claimed “Tottenham will definitely finish in the top 10” ahead of Crystal Palace’s home clash with Spurs on Sunday.
Pardew, who is hoping Palace can capitalise on Tottenham’s Europa League schedule, quelled any fears that Maurico Pochettino’s men would not be able to cope with playing in Europe by making the tongue-in-cheek comment.
Spurs have not finished below sixth in the Premier League in the last six seasons and a finish outside the top six this term will be viewed as a failure at White Hart Lane – a fact which Pardew was surely well aware of before making his barbed comment.
The north London outfit began their European campaign against Qarabag on Thursday night, and although some key players were rested, Pardew still feels they will be struggling to recover in time for the Super Sunday meeting.
“The Premier League should be dominating in the Europa League. It’s difficult. Really and truly it’s not fair on the Premier League, because of the intensity of our games. Thursday night to Sunday recovery is tough,” said Pardew.
“The energy levels of some of their players won’t be 100%, having played a tough game on Thursday night.
“Tottenham are a much bigger club, in terms of infrastructure for sure. They have some outstanding players. I’m a big fan of Kane, Chadli and Eriksen. They will definitely finish in the top ten.
“They have finances we can’t match, but our team is close. The eleven they put out and the eleven we put out will be close.”
Pardew is unconcerned by his side’s failure to keep a clean sheet this season and says winning is the most important factor.
He said: “I can cope with winning 3-2, 4-3, 5-4. The bottom line is I want this team to think about scoring goals.”
Pardew also confirmed midfielder Joe Ledley is available, while forward Connor Wickham will train ahead of Sunday’s match.