Claudio Ranieri finds it “very strange” that a Crystal Palace side he rates highly go into Saturday’s game against his Leicester City without a win in 2016.
The Foxes go to Selhurst Park five points clear at the top of the Premier League, favourites to win the title and beat a Palace side without a win in their last 12 league games.
The hosts have reached the FA Cup semi-final, where they face Watford, but Alan Pardew’s side have dropped to 15th in the Premier League.
But, with Leicester expected to win in London, Ranieri is cautious against their out-of-form hosts.
He said: “It’s very strange. When we played here it was a very difficult match, I was so happy the last time because we made the first clean sheet if you remember. Also at the end of the match I didn’t say hello to Alan Pardew – I made a mistake.
“I was so happy I went to the pitch because I recognised it was a very, very difficult match to beat them. It will be the same on Saturday, it will be a very, very tough match.
Danny Simpson believes wingers Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie are Palace’s main threats.
“They’re great talents and the kind of players where you’ve really got to watch the ball. I think they like to wait for the defenders to dive in,” he said.
“I’m pretty sure the manager will have us set up and we’ll watch the clips of them. Individual battles are key all over the pitch. I think with those kind of players you can double up on them too to make it tough on them but Palace are at home, so it’s going to be tough either way.”
He added to Foxes Player: “I hate all the stats. It’s just another game. They’ve been on a tough run but they got a win last week in the cup which maybe gave them a bit of confidence.
“It’s a tough place to go to and I’m pretty sure the manager Alan Pardew will be getting them up for this. It’s a challenge and I think they still need a few more wins to be safe. It’ll be a tough game.”