Alan Pardew says Crystal Palace are nursing several key players through minor injury knocks ahead of the FA Cup final, but he’s confident he’ll be able to field a strong side at Wembley.
The Eagles manager selected a weakened XI for Sunday’s 4-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Southampton, choosing to rest Wilfried Zaha, Wayne Hennessey and Scott Dann, and to not risk Yohan Cabaye, Yannick Bolasie and Connor Wickham, effectively the core of his team.
Joe Ledley will definitely miss out because of a fractured fibula that could yet end his hopes of appearing for Wales at Euro 2016 but, beyond him, the potential absences of Wickham and Cabaye have left Pardew concerned.
“We had so many missing and we rested Scotty Dann, but Connor was missing for a knock, we’re a little bit worried about him, Cabaye had a knock and we were worried about him,” said Pardew, who added he would change Palace’s build-up to the clash at Wembley having learnt from his experience in 2006 while manager of West Ham.
“Zaha looks okay but we couldn’t risk him. We had a few problems going into this game, I’m hoping they’ll all clear themselves up. They usually do, cup final week, I find. Hopefully that’ll be the case.
“We can look forward to the preparation, and the attention, that’s going to come to this fixture, and then we’ve got to win it, and that’s what we’ll try and do.
“(Emmanuel Adebayor’s) been great for us, so we’ll wait and see if he’s going to start; Connor’s injury, who knows, he may start. We’ll have to wait.
“I’ve changed a couple of the things we did at West Ham. We’re really going to focus on the job in hand, so I’ll learn from that experience and hopefully take it into this game.”