Premier League preview: Crystal Palace vs. Sunderland
- Both teams won on road last season
- Palace leads all-time series 16W-13D-15L.
- Sunderland four points back of safety
Two well-traveled English managers face mighty different tasks on Monday when Sunderland visits Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace. (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).
Palace’s Alan Pardew is looking to build on his solid return to life in South London soccer, as a win would boost his club to within two points of the Top Five.
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Meanwhile, Sunderland’s Sam Allardyce has learned, yet again, that players are really, really, really, really important if you’re going to win games in the Premier League, and that he doesn’t have the quality needed to survive in the top flight.
Allardyce has just one win through four matches in charge of the Black Cats, and that was a red card-aided derby win over struggling Newcastle United.
What they’re saying
Palace chairman Steve Parish on a potential American sale: “If it all goes ahead then it’ll be great for Crystal Palace Football Club, but we all know that these deals are complicated things so if it doesn’t go through then we’ll still be in a good position. I’ve said that we hope to get things done before Christmas if possible but we’ll see – I’ll keep you informed.”
Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher on life with Big Sam: “I think he’s got his own way of playing; we’ve seen that at the other clubs he’s been at and obviously with our last manager it was different. With someone new, they come in and want us to play the way they play and every player has to adapt to it. We’re working on it in training and in games as well. The matches come thick and fast over Christmas so sometimes you don’t have a chance to go over it.”
Is there reason to think Big Sam could out-fox Pardew, even given a lack of player quality? That comes down to how Sunderland handles Yohan Cabaye and Yannick Bolasie. It also matters whether Younes Kaboul is going to be bad Younes or decent-enough Younes. Call it 1-1, and some hope for the Black Cats.