Sam Allardyce on the reception he is expecting from Sunderland fans

Former Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is now in charge of Crystal Palace.
Former Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is now in charge of Crystal Palace.
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Sam Allardyce admits he is unsure what reception he will receive from the travelling Sunderland fans.

Sunderland come up against their former manager at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon, with both sides battling relegation from the Premier League.

Allardyce masterminded the club's survival last season before England came calling in the summer, with manager David Moyes taking his place in the manager's seat at the Stadium of Light.

After being axed as England boss after just one game Allardyce has been tasked with keeping new club Crystal Palace in the top flight and this weekend will be the first time he has come up against his former side.

The 62-year-old is expected to receive a warm reception from the visiting support.

New signing Patrick van Aanholt is also expected to make his home debut for Palace - after appearing for the first time at Bournemouth - and in Sunderland will come up against the club he has just left.

"I don't know if some of them are still disappointed I left," said Allardyce, when asked what reception he is expecting.

"Some are still really appreciative of what happened in my short period there.

"In the end they all knew that there was no way on earth that I could turn the England coach's position down.

"I'm sure they'll be reasonably okay.

"Patrick will be okay. He's a professional; decided to move on, chose us, and very quickly we're playing against his old club.

"I'm sure he'll want to give a very good performance."

Allardyce remains without the injured Jeffrey Schlupp, Steve Mandanda and Bakary Sako.

New arrivals Mamadou Sakho and Luka Milivojevic will also miss out, respectively owing to a lack of match fitness and issues with a visa.