West Ham v Crystal Palace: Allardyce wary of being caught on counter
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is wary of the counter-attacking threat posed by Crystal Palace as the sides prepare to meet in the Premier League on Saturday.
Allardyce's men are without a win in five matches in all competitions and have dropped down to eighth in the league following a run that has dented their ambitions of European football next season.
The visitors are also in poor form, though, having won just one in their last five games in league and cup, but Allardyce is not taking West Ham's London rivals lightly.
"I think they will come and maybe play with probably counter-attacking players," Allardyce said.
"I think in wide areas they've got some exciting, talented players. Jason Puncheon, Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie are all very quick and dangerous.
"Yaya Sanogo and Dwight Gayle, too. But our home form is good and our performances of late have been exceptional, even though we sit with three points rather than seven [from the previous four league games].
"So we'll be looking to turn another good performance into a result this Saturday."
Allardyce confirmed that recent signing Nene is set for a place on the bench for the hosts, who will be without Andy Carroll (knee) and Carlton Cole (hamstring) as well as the suspended Morgan Amalfitano.
Palace boss Alan Pardew has to make do without forwards Fraizer Campbell, Marouane Chamakh and Yaya Sanogo, who all have hamstring injuries.
The former Newcastle United manager revealed that Campbell could be out for five to six weeks, but midfielder James McArthur is fit again following a thigh injury.
Palace head into the game just five points above the relegation zone and still have plenty of work to do to ensure their survival.
But Pardew was satisfied with his side's performance in their 2-1 defeat to Arsenal last time out and feels it is West Ham who approach the contest under the most pressure.
He said: "The game plan against Arsenal was nearly fulfilled apart from one or two little areas.
"It's difficult to break into the top four or five clubs and this is an important game for West Ham to stay in the pack."
However, with the early momentum following his appointment seemingly diminishing, it is the visitors who have the greater need for the three points in order to avoid being sucked back into the relegation scrap.