Alan Pardew has no intention of making wholesale changes to his starting XI against Manchester United despite Crystal Palace heading to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.
Palace travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday just three days on from their 1-1 draw at Arsenal – where Yannick Bolasie rescued a point at Emirates Stadium – while their cup meeting with Watford is only four days later.
Despite the hectic schedule, Pardew insists he has never considered fielding a weakened side to help aid their cup dreams.
“I don’t think anyone will look at our side and worry about us putting an under-strength team out when they see the team-sheet,” Pardew told a news conference.
“We need to be strong and keep focus, so I am not going to change my team completely. I don’t believe in that.
“It’s been a long time since we have had much momentum, and I think that is more important than rest. So I want to keep the momentum of this team, certainly until the end of the season.
“There’ll be one or two changes because I will definitely need to increase the energy, and we have got one or two problems.
“Yala [Bolasie] has got an issue, [Joel] Ward will definitely miss the game, and Scott Dann is struggling with the injury he picked up at Arsenal.
“Joe Ledley has also got a knock, so we have got a few problems. They should all be okay for Sunday but they are not going to make Manchester United.”
Whoever Pardew does select, he expects them to be in for a tough evening on Wednesday as United – who are four points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal – look to maintain their Champions League charge.
He added: “Defensively we’ve been very, very sound and we need to take that to Man United, because there’s just a bit more energy in that side than there was in the first half of the season. They’ve picked up and we need to be ready for them.”
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