Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce backs Loic Remy to help struggling Eagles
Sam Allardyce has backed Crystal Palace debutant Loic Remy to boost the Eagles' Premier League survival fight.
Fit-again France striker Remy is finally ready for his Palace bow after thigh and calf problems, having joined the Selhurst Park club on loan from Chelsea in August.
Allardyce has admitted he will make a raft of changes for Saturday's third-round FA Cup clash at his former club Bolton, with Julian Speroni potentially in line to set a new club-record 389 appearances.
Christian Benteke will miss the Bolton trip with shoulder trouble but could be fit in time for the Premier League trip to West Ham on January 14.
"If he can hit the form and heights he's hit in the Premier League before he could lift the team and be a big goal-scoring threat," said Allardyce of Chelsea loan star Remy.
"Particularly the goals he has scored in the past and with his use of pace, he could work well, alongside the other goalscorers we've already got in the squad.
"He'll play some part of the game, but it's like a pre-season for him in his first competitive game.
"Obviously match practice is lacking, but his general fitness is good.
"But there's no better chance than the FA Cup to get a competitive run out."
Belgium hitman Benteke suffered a nasty-looking shoulder problem in last weekend's 2-1 home league defeat to Swansea, but Eagles boss Allardyce now hopes the former Aston Villa striker can make a swift return to action.
Allardyce said the 26-year-old will have injections into his shoulder that should accelerate his recovery, handing him a chance to face West Ham.