Crystal Palace star doubtful for FA Cup final, Pardew admits he will be vulnerable even if fit

Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew has admitted that Wilfried Zaha faces a battle to be fit for the showpiece occasion later this month.

Crystal Palace are gearing up for their first FA Cup final since 1990, but they have been dealt a blow in their preparations as Alan Pardew admitted, as quoted by the Mirror, that Wilfried Zaha may not be fit to face former club Manchester United.

Palace beat Watford 2-1 in their semi-final at Wembley last month to set up a date with United in what will be only their second ever major cup final.

A disappointing second half of their Premier League campaign has seen the Eagles slip from top-half contenders to 16th in the league, but with safety virtually secured all eyes are slowly turning to the end-of-season occasion.

However, one negative to come from the semi-final victory was an injury to Zaha, and Pardew confirmed that the 23-year-old faces a race against time to be fit for the final, and admitted that even if he is well enough to play he will be "vulnerable" against his old side.

Pardew said, as quoted by the Mirror: "Wilf still has a problem which will keep him out of the next two games. Hopefully he will be back for the final. He actually did it before the semi-final but it was not revealed until a scan on the Monday after.

"If he does play in the final, he will be vulnerable."

Zaha made just four appearances for United following his move from Palace in 2013 before returning to Selhurst Park at the start of last season.

He has slotted straight back in at the Eagles and after playing 35 times in all competitions last term he has missed just two Premier League matches to date this season, although he will be ruled out of the final two fixtures of the league campaign.

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