Sam Allardyce: Palace must win Selhurst showdown with Swansea
Sam Allardyce has identified Tuesday's home showdown with Swansea as being crucial to Crystal Palace's hopes of surviving in the Premier League.
Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Arsenal left Allardyce's new club in 17th place and with a total of only 16 points from 19 games.
Swansea are widely expected to appoint a new manager of their own by Tuesday evening, but Allardyce is wary of the need to win if Palace are to climb clear of the bottom three.
He has already complained that Swansea have had an additional day's preparation for this fixture, and to that end made second-half changes at Arsenal to protect three of his players.
They were convincingly outplayed at the Emirates, but Allardyce is adamant any points taken from the division's top six can only be considered a "bonus" because it is results secured against those club around them which will define their season.
"Our players need to get ready for Swansea on Tuesday night - that's the big game they need to win," said Allardyce.
"Watching Premier League football this year, the top six are so much better than last year so it's always hard to pick up points against them.
"Our big game's on Tuesday, there's no doubt about it. We're going to survive by beating teams in the bottom half.
"If we get a victory against one of the top boys that'll be the added bonus to get us safe quicker.
"It's been so long since Palace have gone on an extended run of good results."
Christian Benteke, Andros Townsend and Yohan Cabaye were the three players Allardyce substituted at Arsenal and each is expected to retain their place against Swansea. The manager also has Damien Delaney available again after suspension.
Swansea caretaker Alan Curtis says he must address a "crisis of confidence" as prospective new manager Paul Clement prepares to take a watching brief at Palace.
Clement is expected to be at Selhurst Park on Tuesday night after talks to finalise his move from Bayern Munich, where he has worked as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant since June.
The 44-year-old has top-class coaching pedigree throughout Europe having worked alongside Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris St Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern.
But his only experience of management was an ill-fated eight-month stint at Derby which ended in February 2016.
Clement is set to become the third manager in Swansea's troubled season, and he must try to save a side currently bottom of the league with 12 points from the halfway mark of 19 games.
Only one side in Premier League history - the West Brom team which Clement's brother Neil played for in the 2004-05 season - have survived from a worse position.
Swansea have lost four consecutive games and Curtis - who was in charge for Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth following the sacking of Bob Bradley - admits falling behind in games is hurting them.
"The first goal seems to be crucial at the moment," said Curtis.
"Confidence seems to drain from us when we go behind.
"I suppose the explanation for that is that we are bottom of the table, we are not winning games and we are conceding too many goals.
"It's a crisis of confidence when we concede a goal.
"I still think there should be enough in our squad to get better results, but confidence in sport, especially football, is such a fragile thing.
"But we just have to get on and prepare for the next game. That's all we can do."
Swansea are without suspended defender Jordi Amat for the trip while striker Fernando Llorente is doubtful after picking up a knock against Bournemouth. Wayne Routledge will be checked after missing out on Saturday with a mouth abscess.