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Alan Pardew plans to give Emmanuel Adebayor his Crystal Palace debut against Bournemouth on Tuesday.
But the manager insisted only injury kept him from selecting Dwight Gayle for Saturday's 1-0 defeat of Stoke in the fourth round of the FA Cup, when t he impressive Wilfried Zaha scored the game's only goal.
Pardew had previously spoken of his concerns surrounding Adebayor's lack of match-fitness, but the absence of Gayle increased speculation he is to leave for Swansea.
Adebayor's arrival last Tuesday on a free transfer until the end of the season will likely further limit Gayle's first-team chances, given he was already far from a regular.
Swansea having reportedly bid ?7million for him suggested Pardew had left him out to encourage the transfer, even if that is something he denies.
"Dwight got four goals in our pre-game (training match) we have on a Friday, but was injured (on Saturday)," Pardew said.
"We've kind of pencilled (Adebayor) in to be involved on Tuesday, so we'll have to wait and see. I think there's a good chance.
"We had a few players missing (against Stoke), lost a couple at half-time, but everybody really put in a performance at their level or above their level, and you can't ask for more than that.
"You could see by the results in the FA Cup, the Premier League (teams are) taking this competition a lot more seriously than before."
Stoke manager Mark Hughes had made eight changes to the team that had lost on penalties to Liverpool in the Capital One Cup semi-final.
This Tuesday they travel to Manchester United in the Premier League and Hughes is concerned that not only will several of those unavailable for Saturday's defeat at Palace not be ready for selection at Old Trafford, but that an injury suffered at Palace by defender Marc Wilson could be so serious he may have to sign a replacement.
Asked whether the likes of Peter Crouch, Glen Johnson and Marko Arnautovic will be ready to return, Hughes said: "There's still a doubt.
"We've got bad news with Marc Wilson. We're a little bit stretched at the back. Marc Wilson looks like he's got a bad knee injury, the physio thinks he's got medial ligament damage so he's going to be out for a period of maybe 10-12 weeks unfortunately.
"It might force our hand. We're a little bit threadbare, Ryan Shawcross is injured as well, Geoff Cameron isn't available, and Marc Muniesa's only come back in after injury so we might have to do a short-term thing."