Cape Town - Crystal Palace feature in somewhat of a surprising top of the table clash when Manchester City travel to London on Saturday.
Second placed Palace's shock 2-1 victory at Chelsea
ahead of the international break confirmed the progress the club has made since
Alan Pardew took charge last January.
The arrival of France playmaker Yohan Cabaye during the close
season has added to the creativity of Pardew's side, while the manager's
decision to bolster his squad's forward options has also paid off.
Pardew acknowledges his side's realistic ambitions lie in
challenging for a Europa League spot and not in sustaining a place in the top
four, but he believes they can cause problems for City.
"The Chelsea result must enhance our confidence. Our work
ethic and technical ability has gone hand in hand and that makes for a good
team," Pardew said.
"You can have one without the other but our technical ability
is now matching our work-rate.
"It makes us difficult opposition and I think for Manchester
City I'm sure they'll be approaching this game knowing they're up against a
Palace will be without Joel Ward, the scorer of the winning goal
at Chelsea, after the right-back damaged knee ligaments in training.
Connor Wickham is also doubtful but Pardew insists Australia
midfielder Mile Jedinak is fit again and in contention, despite almost joining
Stoke on transfer deadline day.
"Mile is a massive character and player for this football
club," Pardew added.
"There was bid accepted by the board here out of respect
really, whether it was right for Mile and that decision to stay was made by
Mile and we're happy with that."
Crystal Palace host Manchester City at Selhurst Park. The match kicks off at 16:00.