Crystal Palace v Sunderland preview: Sam Allardyce faces former club
Last Updated: 04/02/17 10:51pm
Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce faces former club Sunderland for the first time on Saturday since leaving them last summer to become England manager.
The 67-year-old, who lasted only one game in the England job and was appointed Palace manager in December, led his new team to their first league win under his charge in midweek at Bournemouth, ending a run of eight Premier League games without victory.
Allardyce's opposite number David Moyes, who signed a four-year deal in the summer, has won seven of his eight previous games against Palace as a manger. Sunderland's 3-2 defeat in the reverse fixture earlier this season ended his 100 per cent record against the Eagles.
Palace have never done the league 'double' over Sunderland despite this being the 18th season in which they have met.
Jeffrey Schlupp is out for Crystal Palace as he recovers from a hamstring problem which forced him off last weekend against Manchester City.
Long-term absentees Pape Souare, Connor Wickham and Jonathan Benteke remain on the sidelines.
New Sunderland signings Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson could go straight into the squad.
Full-back Oviedo, who has not made a senior appearance since November, has more chance of being involved than midfielder Gibson, whose last league game was in May.
Moyes has no fresh injury problems, but keeper Jordan Pickford, defenders Jan Kirchhoff and Paddy McNair, and strikers Victor Anichebe and Duncan Watmore (all knee), as well as midfielder Lee Cattermole (hip), are still sidelined and defender Papy Djilobodji is suspended.
After winning three successive home league games against Sunderland, Crystal Palace have lost their last two versus them at Selhurst Park.
Only once in their last 14 away league games against Crystal Palace have Sunderland scored more than one goal - a 3-1 win in November 2014.
Allardyce won nine of his 30 Premier League games at Sunderland to help the Black Cats avoid relegation in 2015/16 (W9 D9 L12).
Allardyce has won just one of his last five games against clubs he's previously managed in the Premier League (W1 D1 L3).
Jermain Defoe became the first Sunderland player to score twice in a Premier League match and lose by netting twice vs the Eagles in September.
Defoe has netted four goals in his last five Premier League matches against Crystal Palace, with three of these coming in four appearances for Sunderland.
Crystal Palace have won a league-low seven points at home this season (W2 D1 L8).
Christian Benteke has scored more goals against Sunderland in the Premier League than versus any other opponent (7).
Benteke has netted four goals in his last three Premier League games against the Black Cats, all for different teams (Aston Villa, Liverpool and Crystal Palace).
Allardyce has lost his first two home Premier League games as Palace boss - the last time he lost three consecutively was in October 2013 when he was West Ham manager.
Sunderland have lost their last five away Premier League games, last losing more consecutively in February 2008 (10 in a row).
Sunderland need to win this game. If they don't then they could start to get cut adrift at the bottom. You don't want to start getting six or seven points behind because you've then got to win three matches before you can even start thinking about making up the points and getting away from danger. Sunderland have only won four games all season, so to pick up three victories on the trot is very difficult.
It was a big result for Crystal Palace in midweek. They probably looked at the game and thought we needed to win, especially with Swansea winning. I have to go with Palace here. Sunderland have been struggling and home advantage will be a factor.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (13/2 with Sky Bet)
The hosts to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 is 13/8 in the correct score group betting, while another Palace victory without conceding is a 7/4 shot.
There's £250,000 up for grabs again this weekend for simply predicting the six correct scores in the Premier League 3pm kick-offs. Enter your selections here.