Gayle in line for Wembley start, says Pardew

Gayle scored two second-half goals to hand Crystal Palace a 2-1 win over Stoke City on Saturday and could be given a chance to shine at Wembley.

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew says Dwight Gayle could be handed a starting place in the FA Cup Final with Manchester United following his impressive brace in the win over Stoke City on Saturday.

The visitors took the lead courtesy of Charlie Adam midway through the first half, before Gayle popped up just after the interval to restore parity.

And the striker was on hand to seal the win with a superb 25-yard free-kick on 68 minutes, much to the delight of his manager.

The 25-year-old has featured just 17 times for the Eagles this season, but Pardew admits his recent form has pulled him into contention for a starting berth at Wembley in a fortnight's time.

As reported by the Evening Standard, Pardew said: "Gayle has had a funny season because injuries and our form in the first half of the season has really limited his time.

"Then we had a little problem with him because obviously he isn't getting the game time. Is he going to stay? Is he going to go?

"Me and Steve Parish were talking to him about a new deal and in the end we managed to do that. Those two goals were massively important - they were both great strikes - and he has put himself in contention of course for Wembley."

Saturday's win at Selhurst Park was only Palace's second in 20 league outings, a run a form that Pardew, who recently confirmed he is to sign a new deal at the club, will need to address next season as he bids to improve on this season's final league placing.

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