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7 April 2016


Nickname: The Eagles
Manager: Alan Pardew 
2014-15: 10th
Ground: Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew isn't worried by Norwich City's recent upturn in fortunes ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at Selhurst Park (3pm).

Alex Neil's Canaries have taken seven points from their past three matches, moving them to within reach of a Palace side yet to register a league victory this calendar year.

Reflecting on City's form at his pre-match media briefing on Thursday, Pardew said: "It doesn't concern me, but it's more difficult because of the confidence they will have gained.

"They played well against Newcastle but it could have been a loss. I expect it to be a tight, tight game but our aim is very much to get the win.

"It's a key game because Norwich are only three points behind us and they've won two games. We need to get the crowd behind us to help us attack the game and give ourselves a cushion going into our next run.

"My faith in the players is resounding; we have to get a win soon. We have a commitment to make our league situation healthier.

"Our fans are going to be really up for it. It's going to be loud and intimidating, so Norwich will have to deal with that."

Central defender Scott Dann has emerged as vital player for Crystal Palace over the past two seasons, recapturing the form which prompted Blackburn to spend £6m on him in 2011.

A series of assured performances in the opening months of the campaign led to calls from some quarters for Dann to be recognised at international level by England manager Roy Hodgson.

Although that has not been forthcoming, and Palace's form as a whole has dipped considerably since Christmas, the former Walsall trainee has continued to remain a key figure at Selhurst Park.

Starting all but one of the Eagles' top-flight matches, the 29-year-old not only leads the Club's appearance charts but also stands joint-top in terms of goalscorers having netted five times in the league this term.

That tally is matched only by Connor Wickham and Yohan Cabaye, with Dann's strikes notably including the winner at Liverpool in November; a side he watched as a season-ticket holder having been born on Merseyside.

Away from the league, Dann has also been a regular in the Emirates FA Cup, helping Alan Pardew's side to reach the competition's semi-finals where they face Watford later this month. 

Dwight Gayle's goal 15 minutes from time saw Crystal Palace earn a 2-2 draw against ten-man West Ham United at the The Boleyn Ground in the Barclays Premier League last weekend.

The visitors had initially gone in front through Damien Delaney, only for Manuel Lanzini to quickly level ahead of Dimitri Payet's stunning free-kick turning the game around before half-time.

Gayle, a half-time replacement for Wilfried Zaha, proved the catalyst when he drew a foul from Cheikhou Kouyate midway through the second period which resulted in the Hammers midfielder being dismissed.

Kouyate's red card, which was later rescinded by the FA, gave Palace fresh hope of taking something from their London rivals.

They did so when Gayle capitalised on an error from Angelo Ogbonna, ensuring the Eagles avoided a third consecutive top-flight defeat.

Despite the positives of salvaging a point, Palace remain without a league win in 2016, having last tasted success against Stoke City in December - 14 games ago.

Goalkeepers: Julian Speroni, Alex McCarthy, Wayne Hennessey.

Defenders: Joel Ward, Adrian Mariappa, Brede Hangeland, Patrick McCarthy, Scott Dann, Zeki Fryers, Pape Souare, Damien Delaney, Martin Kelly, 

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye, Yannick Bolasie, Wilfried Zaha, Chung Yong-Lee, Mile Jedinak, James McArthur, Jordon Mutch, Bakary Sako, Joe Ledley, Jason Puncheon

Attackers: Fraizer Campbell, Dwight Gayle, Connor Wickham, Emmanuel Adebayor, Marouane Chamakh, Kwesi Appiah.

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