Wenger: Palace's lack of depth could reduce Allardyce effect

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hopes Crystal Palace's lack of squad depth can dampen the impact of Sam Allardyce's appointment when the sides meet on Sunday.

The Gunners will be looking to build on their 1-0 victory over West Brom on Boxing Day, their first win in three Premier League games, when the Eagles head to Emirates Stadium.

Wenger insists Palace – who drew 1-1 at Watford in Allardyce's first game at the helm – are a tough test despite sitting 17th and the challenge has been made greater following the arrival of the ex-England boss, who could be without 10 first-team players.

"The level of confidence and urgency goes up when a new manager comes in and that makes the games more difficult," said Wenger.

"They have experience and technical quality. They are a team that can be difficult for everybody. 

"But they have some injuries and suspensions so I don't know if they have enough depth."

Wenger was unsurprised to see Allardyce return to the Premier League despite his spell with England ending after only one game due to a newspaper scandal.

He continued: "No, not really [surprised] because today the clubs in trouble looked for experienced managers. 

"To stay in the league has become a big problem for everybody and when teams look for managers he was one with the experience and quality. 

"After that it is moral judgement. I don't know how guilty he was of doing something or not. He was in a strong position as national team manager. That means he has the quality to be there."

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