Alan Pardew has insisted he will not pick a weakened team when Crystal Palace visit Manchester United in the Premier League on Wednesday night, despite their FA Cup semi-final with Watford on Sunday.
The Palace manager has ruled out regular starters Yannick Bolasie, Joel Ward, Joe Ledley and Scott Dann but remains optimistic each will recover their fitness to face Watford at Wembley.
Sunday’s game represents a fine chance to reach the Cup final and now Palace’s Premier League status appears secure there would be reason to rest Yohan Cabaye, Wilfried Zaha and others.
“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,” said Pardew.
“One or two changes I will definitely do just to increase the energy. We are effectively playing four games in 12 days of Premier League standard.
“With the FA Cup semi-final we have Watford, we had Norwich, Everton and Arsenal (in the league) so it has been a really tough run for us so I will freshen it up.
“We need to be strong and keep focused. I am not going to change my team completely. I don’t believe in that.
“We have got one or two problems. Yala has got an issue, Wardie will definitely miss the game. Scott Dann is struggling with the injury he picked up at Arsenal. Joe Ledley has got a knock.
“We have got a few problems. They should all be okay for Sunday but they are not going to make (Wednesday), those guys.”
Pardew will have James McArthur available, despite previous concerns he would miss the remainder of the season with an ankle ligaments injury suffered in February.
If he impresses at Old Trafford he could be in line for a run-out at Wembley.
“McArthur is going to return for this game and he has been a real miss for us,” Pardew said. “His energy, his experience, his quality. It is really good news for us for the four remaining (league) games.
“(He will feature against Watford) if he can come through (against United), which I think he can, so we will see.”