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Crystal Palace host Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night looking to build on their impressive 2-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday.
Two goals from ex-Reds striker Christian Benteke lifted the Eagles to a shock win and virtually secured safety after moving seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Sam Allardyce was delighted with his players after picking up three points at Anfield but will demand a strong performance in front of a Selhurst Park crowd who haven’t had much to cheer about in terms of home displays this season.
Allardyce will be expecting full-backs Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt – who is expected to make his first start since March in place of Jeffrey Schlupp – to have their hands full against Spurs’ dynamic forwards, so will instruct Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend to fulfil their defensive duties and hit their opponents on the counter whenever possible.
The big boost for Palace is welcoming back centre-half Mamadou Sakho after the on-loan Frenchman was ineligible to play against parent club Liverpool.
Sakho has been impressive since joining up with Palace, including a stellar performance against Chelsea in which he won 100 per cent of tackles, made nine interceptions and four clearances. His aerial ability will be key in stopping Spurs from set-pieces.
Allardyce is unlikely to tinker with his midfield after a hard-working performance against Liverpool. His players look comfortable and confident operating in his preferred 4-2-3-1 system so it’s likely to continue.
Benteke will once again spearhead the attack, even though Fraizer Campbell is pushing for a starting berth.
The 26-year-old took his league tally to 14 with the brace against his former side on Sunday and Allardyce knows his aerial prowess and physicality are required against a tough defensive trio of Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.
It’s likely to be an intriguing battle for the Belgian powerhouse – Vertonghen has won 74 per cent of his aerial duels this season, but Benteke has won 335 total duels including take-ons, tackles and aerial battles, higher than anyone in the league.