Chamakh injury a "big blow" to Crystal Palace Premier League survival hopes

Sutton Guardian: Out: Marouane Chamakh could miss both Premier League trips to the north-east Out: Marouane Chamakh could miss both Premier League trips to the north-east

Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis has admitted that the continuing absence of striker Marouane Chamakh is a "big blow" to their Premier League survival hopes.

The 30-year-old will not be in the 18-man squad for the vital relegation clash at Sunderland tomorrow, after failing to recover from a hamstring injury picked up during the Swansea City match.

Chamakh has hit five of Palace's 19 goals league goals this season, and without him last weekend against Southampton the Eagles mustered just one shot on target.

Palace's goalscoring record is the worst in the top flight, and boss Tony Pulis says Chamakh may also miss the trip to Newcastle next week.

He said: “We’ve missed Chamakh without a question of a doubt. He won’t be available this week and we’ll have to assess him again before next week.

“It’s his hamstring and it’s pretty bad which is a big blow for us because he has been a real quality player.”

Pulis also revealed that Barry Bannan and Danny Gabbidon face late fitness tests ahead of the Sunderland fixture.

But while Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has described the game and his side's "biggest of the season", Pulis sees it as just another game.

“People look at the Sunderland game and say that it is a six-pointer but every game is just as important as any other for this football club," Pulis added.

“We have 10 opportunities to pick up the points that we need to stay up and there are no gimmes in the Premier League because every game is tough.”

The Black Cats sit second bottom of the table, just three points below Palace.

A loss for the Eagles could see them drop into the bottom three and Pulis is expecting a very difficult game.

“It’s surprising to see Sunderland where they are if you look at the squad and the players they have got,” he said.

“I am sure they will be up for it and what we’ve got to do is go there stand up and fight for our corner.”

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