Alan Pardew will be facing a side with talent he envies when Crystal Palace finish the Premier League season against Swansea City.
Palace welcome Swansea to Selhurst Park on Sunday with their top-flight survival long since secured and a top-10 finish still a possibility thanks to a revival overseen by Pardew.
Swansea have enjoyed a similarly impressive campaign, having already set a record Premier League points total and sealed the club’s highest finish in the division in eighth.
Asked if Swansea are a model for his side to follow, Pardew replied: “It won’t be the same as us because we’re different. We’re in London, it’s a little bit more energised here in the way we play and the way we are as people.
“We will never be the same as Swansea, but that doesn’t mean to say we don’t admire them and take our hat off to what they’ve achieved.
“I think the key to their success over the last four or five years is [chairman] Huw Jenkins selecting good managers and selecting good players.
“They have some outstanding players, by the way, that we envy. That is why they are where they are.”
Palace have no new injury worries, although goalkeeper Julian Speroni – who signed a one-year contract extension on Friday – will not play as the club are keen instead for fans to buy tickets for his upcoming testimonial.
Angel Rangel is a doubt for Swansea after missing last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City, while Jordi Amat (foot), Ki Sung-yueng (knee), Thomas Carroll, Kyle Naughton, Nelson Oliveira and Wayne Routledge (all ankle) are all out.
Neither side has anything meaningful to play for, but Swansea manager Garry Monk is relishing what he believes will be a difficult trip to south London.
“I thought they [Palace] were excellent against Liverpool last weekend [a 3-1 Palace win at Anfield] and they are a threat going forward with their attacking players,” Monk said.
“It will be a difficult game, they are still fighting to move up a couple of places in the table and we’re expecting a tough contest.
“We had a fantastic start to the season and have been the most consistent that I can remember in this league.
“But we want to try and finish on a high – we have a lot of fans going travelling to support us and to finish with a win is always nice.”
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