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 By PA Sport

Sam Allardyce backs Jose Mourinho over Man United-Palace fixture

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce backs Man United's Jose Mourinho over his complaints about fixture scheduling.
Jose Mourinho jokingly asks for the forgiveness of the Old Trafford supporters, as well as the mercy of Sam Allardyce.

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce has echoed Jose Mourinho's criticism of the Premier League for not moving Sunday's fixture against Manchester United to Saturday.

United travel to Stockholm for the Europa League final against Ajax on Wednesday, just three days after hosting Palace in their final Premier League game of the season.

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Speaking after this week's draw at Southampton, Mourinho said: "In any country in the world the match would be Saturday, because Sunday we are sixth -- doesn't matter what -- and Crystal Palace are safe."

At a news conference, Allardyce said there was "no doubt" that the fixture should have been moved and added: "They could easily have changed it last week and said: 'We will give you the best chance to try to win the Europa League.'

"It's a great shame that we are not like other countries, who will bend over backwards in fixture terms to help their teams win European competitions.

"We've all been moaning about the fact we're not getting anywhere near the Champions League or we're not getting anyone winning the Europa League.

"When you look at Jose's fixture list, this will be his 63rd game on Sunday. It's a tremendous effort, but [there has been] no help unfortunately from the Premier League to give him the best chance of winning a trophy that Manchester United haven't won.

"That would happen abroad. They would change the fixtures for you."

Mourinho will field a weakened team against Palace and has said third-choice goalkeeper Joel Pereira will start.

Asked whether he would do the same in United's position, Allardyce said: "No doubt about that. The XI that play at Stockholm would probably not feature at all in this last game.

"It would be wrong for me as a manager to jeopardise anybody that you want to pick for that football match.

"But whether Jose plays a weakened side or not, it will always be a difficult task because if there are younger players at Manchester United, they're definitely talented."

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