Return of Chamakh boosts Palace

Tony Pulis will make a late call on whether to thrust Marouane Chamakh back into the Crystal Palace side at Cardiff City on Saturday.

The fit-again striker, the club's top scorer this season, is in contention to return this weekend following a month out with a hamstring injury.

Confidence levels at Palace are high following last Saturday's 1-0 win over Premier League leaders Chelsea and Pulis knows what a boost it is to have Chamakh at his disposal again.

Victory over Chelsea means Palace are five points ahead of Cardiff, who are third from bottom and have played a game more.

"Chamakh has trained all week with us," confirmed Pulis at his pre-match press briefing.

"He looks ready to go.

"Whether we start him or whether he's involved on the bench, we'll have to wait and see. It's a decision that I'll make closer to the game."

Chamakh was on target in a 2-0 win when the two sides met at Selhurst Park in December and Pulis has been pleased with the Moroccan's form this season.

Pulis added: "He's been outstanding for us.

"For me, he's the player that gives us something a little bit different within the group."

Nine teams are separated by 10 points at the bottom of the Premier League, prompting Pulis to predict that the battle for survival will go down to the wire.

"It will ebb and flow – and that's right through the league," said the Welshman.

"It has been a very exciting season at the top and bottom of the league."

Meanwhile, Pulis has confirmed that contract talks with Palace players entering the final few months of their current deals - including goalkeeper Julian Speroni - will not take place into the club know which division they will be in next season.

He said: "As soon as we know where we are, what league we are in and what we're doing then we'll sit down and talk to people.

"We'll sit down and talk to Julian along with I think there's six or seven other players who are also out of contract."