Allardyce says Newcastle are the biggest threat to Sunderland's safety, suggests Palace will roll over

The Mackems boss is tipping Crystal Palace to roll over at St. James' Park this weekend.

Sunderland manager Sam Allarydce believes Newcastle United are the biggest threat to his side's safety - and expects Crystal Palace to roll over at St. James' Park this weekend, the Telegraph reports.

Sunderland currently occupy 17th place heading into their four remaining fixtures, with Norwich level on 31 points but a place behind Allardyce's men due to their inferior goal difference.

But even though Newcastle, who are second from bottom, are a point behind their rivals with one less game to play, the Mackems' boss is backing them to register at least two victories.

"Newcastle pose the bigger threat (than Norwich) to our survival," Allardyce, the former manager of Newcastle, told the Telegraph.

"I think they’ll beat Palace and they’ve got Villa, then it depends on what Spurs do there (St. James' Park). So I think they’ll win at least two.

"Palace are in the FA Cup final and they would all have been celebrating, they would all have been on the pop (alcohol).

"They won’t be mentally ready for it and neither will Alan (Pardew), because he’ll be thinking about the final now, not thinking about Newcastle away.

"You’re not going to stop the lads celebrating having got through to a final, particularly Crystal Palace, because it’s such a good achievement for the club, the fans, Alan and the owner, there is such euphoria around the place.

"It may well serve in reverse. He could say, 'Off you go lads, go and play today and relax, the result doesn’t matter as much' and they might win.

"But it could go the other way, 'Ooh, I’ve had a good couple of days off and I don’t want to get injured for the final, I might just stay out of that tackle'. Who knows? I suspect it might be the latter."

Palace could still be relegated themselves, though their superior goal difference means that only Sunderland or Norwich could realistically catch them on 39 points, and both clubs would have to win three games apiece to overtake the 16th-placed Eagles.

Starting with an out-of-sorts Stoke City on Saturday, Sunderland face four mid-table sides in their remaining fixtures, while Norwich have Arsenal and Manchester United still to come.

After going more than two months without a win Newcastle's form has picked up of late, with draws against Manchester City and Liverpool backing up the win against Swansea City.

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