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The fighting Foxes will be hard to tame, says McArthur


JAMES MCaRTHUR knows Palace will be in for a tough afternoon when they take on struggling Leicester City on Saturday.

The Foxes sit 20th in the Premier League but have won two and drawn one of their past six games.

Their home form is not so great – only one win in six – whereas Palace have lost only once on the road in that time.

Midfielder McArthur pulled no punches when saying just how tough this weekend's vital clash would be.

"There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves [after losing to Everton], I think we can take positives into Leicester and that's a big, massive match for us," he said.

"The best way to bounce back? Win, simple as that. We need to go in, play well and do the right things. It'll be tough, we know that. I played there last year in the Championship and it's a tough place. But we are in decent form on the road so it should be an interesting game.

"The manager is very good, knows all games are different and will change it if necessary. He knows how to play against different teams so he won't be rigid. If something needs to be changed then he will do that.

"He will react to this loss as well, he wants to put it right against Leicester.

"We know, in the Premier League, you won't be winning every week but it's about bouncing back."

The last time Palace went to the King Power Stadium, the hosts were flying high at the top of the Championship on a seven-match unbeaten run.

But the Eagles ended that with a superb performance, thanks to first-half goals from Peter Ramage and Damien Delaney, before Andy King scored a late consolation.

Eight of Palace's starters that day in October 2012 are still contracted to the club.

Alan Pardew will fancy three points on the road, based on their recent form away from Selhurst, but then for Leicester it's a must-win clash when you look at the fixtures coming up.

Chamakh will be assessed after his nose injury against Everton and could play with a protective mask, if selected.

There have been some calls online this week for Wayne Hennessey to start instead of Julian Speroni, but it seems unlikely that a change will be made.

Joel Ward, Scott Dann and Damien Delaney should start at the back, and it remains to be seen whether new signing Pape Soaure will be given his debut at left-back. Otherwise, expect Martin Kelly to keep his place.

In midfield, Mile Jedinak returned to training on Thursday and, like Souare, he will be match-fit to take part but Pardew may keep the skipper fresh for Newcastle United on Wednesday.

That means James McArthur and Joe Ledley will most likely partner each other in midfield.

Out wide, permanent signing Wilfried Zaha was harshly left out last weekend after an impressive January, but he could come back into the fold, with Jason Puncheon on the opposite side.

Jordon Mutch looks set to be included in the squad and will be pushing for a start. Depending on what formation Pardew plays, the new signing could play in behind a loan striker.

Yaya Sanogo will probably be given another chance to get his first Premier League goal and, as mentioned above with Chamakh, Pardew could play Dwight Gayle instead if he decides on two up front.

Shola Ameobi is not yet ready to feature as he improves his fitness, while Lee Chung-Yong is not expected to be involved for up to six weeks due to injury after his deadline-day signing.

As for Leicester, midfielder Matty James is available again after suspension, while veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer may keep his place after starting against Manchester United in their previous match.

Paul Konchesky may also come into the fray after being dropped, but the quicker Ritchie De Laet could be preferred again, this time to stop Zaha potentially.

The experienced Esteban Cambiasso will probably partner James or Danny Drinkwater through the middle, while Marc Albrighton is pushing for a start.

In attack, former Brighton striker Leonardo Ulloa looks set to partner big-money signing Andrej Kramaric, whom we have picked out as the dangerman.

Three points for Palace will be huge and make the gap much bigger to the Foxes.

And, with Newcastle on the horizon at Selhurst next week, it's a great chance to take a minimum of four points before facing Arsenal and West Ham, which next weekend's FA Cup clash with Liverpool.

The fighting Foxes will be hard to tame,   says McArthur

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