Crystal Palace manager, Sam Allardyce, has spared some thoughts for his Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho for the fixtures congestion that the Red Devils will contend with ahead of their Europa League final against Ajax next week Wednesday May 24, at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Speaking at his news conference on Thursday ahead of both team’s Premier League game at Old Trafford on Sunday, Allardyce told reporters he understood the difficulties his opponents will face.
“Whether Jose plays a weakened side or not it’ll be a difficult task. There’s no doubt [the match could have been switched.,” Allardyce stated.
“We moan about not getting near the Champions League, but there’s no hope from the Premier League to give him the best chance.
“That wouldn’t have happened abroad. Jose, tactically, with whatever team he picks is very, very good at setting it up.”
Mourinho rued the fact that his team will play two league games (the 0-0 draw against Outhampton and Crystal Palace on Sunday) before the Europa League final on Wednesday and revealed that he will make changes to his starting line up.
Asked if he will do the same as Mourinho in his position, Allardyce said: “There’s no doubt about that. It’d be wrong to risk anyone for that match.”
However despite Mourinho urging Allardyce to take it easy by unleashing his top stars against his side, Allardyce disclosed that he will field a very fit team.
“We’re going to play the fittest team we’ve got. “We’ve no Andros Townsend, but my team want to play at Old Trafford. Yohan Cabaye’s feeling his foot, James Tomkins looks okay.”
Allardyce also revealed Palace are “in negotiations” with Wilfried Zaha over a new contract.
“If he does sign, it will be fantastic- he loves Palace. He was brought up here and is flourishing here.
“With a bigger contract, there are bigger responsibilities, if he gets a bigger contract, I expect a lot more – which is saying something because I am getting a lot already.”
Allardyce was asked at the news conference about summer transfers and if Palace will be able to afford to buy Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool.
“The chairman said he would try to negotiate. For a club like ours, the figures would have to match up to what else we have to try and get and if we have the budget for it. If we do then great, if not we move on.
He added: “There’ll be a few players leaving the club. Some will want to leave too. It’ll be the usual market it always is.
“The summer priorities are: Recruitment, preparation and preventing injuries. Trying youngsters out in pre-season.”