Allardyce delivers update about Palace team to face Tottenham after claiming "huge changes"
By Harry Sykes
Sam Allardyce is deliberating whether to overhaul his Crystal Palace starting XI to face Tottenham in the Premier League on Wednesday night.
Allardyce had claimed in the immediate aftermath of Palace’s 2-1 win against Liverpool on Sunday that he intended to make “huge changes” to the team for the clash against high-flying Spurs at Selhurst Park.
The former England manager insisted on Sunday evening he would not be able to select his strongest side for Wednesday’s home match as it would be expecting too much from the same players to deliver a repeat performance against another top-four club just three days later..
But Allardyce appeared to back-track on that statement on Tuesday afternoon as he revealed that there was still the possibility the big guns will all feature against Tottenham.
“Spurs are in top form at the moment, so it’s a big question that needs answering – do we put fresh legs in or keep the same XI,” Allardyce, as quoted by the Football London live blog of his press conference (2.49pm).
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Palace’s win at Anfield gave them breathing space in their relegation bid as they climbed to 12th in the Premier League table and seven points clear of the relegation zone.
“I can breathe a little easier,” Allardyce said, as quoted by the BBC Sport website live match blog (Saturday, 6.47pm). “38 points has been very good in the last 10 years. We have five games to go so this one is so important.
“We have Tottenham on Wednesday and Burnley after that. It lifts the pressure on us. I am worried these lads can’t reach this level when they don’t have time to recover.
“I may have to make huge changes to make sure we compete with Tottenham.”
The prospect of Allardyce fielding a weakened team on Wednesday night would provide a boost to Spurs as they aim to keep their title bid on track.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are second in the league, four points adrift of leaders Chelsea, who beat them 4-2 in an FA Cup semi-final thriller last Saturday.
The 2015 Premier League champions will pull seven points clear, for at least 24 hours, if they beat Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
In other Tottenham team news, Spurs fans have shared their respect for Arsenal following this Twitter message.