Stoke - Crystal Palace Preview: Eagles face fragile Potters after Chelsea thrashing
The south London outfit have struggled for regular form in the Championship of late, while Tony Pulis will be eyeing a reaction from his side, while hoping to avoid an upset
By Adam Mazrani
Shotton, Shawcross, Upson, Wilkinson
Kightly, Whitehead, Adam, Walters
Parr, Ramage, Delaney, Moxey
Jedinak, Blake, Mortiz
Bolasie, Murray, Zaha
Stoke City have no new injury problems to report after their 17-game unbeaten record at home in the Premier League was ended in comprehensive fashion by Chelsea, although Marc Wilson (ankle) and Rory Delap (hernia) remain long-term absentees.
Thomas Sorensen should replace Asmir Begovic in goal as Pulis continues his policy of rotating his keepers in the cup competitions.
Elsewhere, Robert Huth may be rested after playing every minute of every Premier League game so far this season, while Michael Owen could be handed only his second start for the club up front alongside Peter Crouch after also playing in the original tie from the beginning.
Ian Holloway's hand has been forced by Kagisho Dikgacoi's absence due to his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations with hosts South Africa.
Owen Garvan picked up a knee injury that will rule him out until April last week while defender Joel Ward (groin) is also out.
Attacking starlet Wilfried Zaha is fit and expected to feature, as he looks to prove his abilities against tough Premier League opposition.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Stoke have conceded 10 goals in their last three league games, compared to 14 in their previous 19 outings.
- Michael Owen (pictured right) has only scored three goals since the beginning of the 2011-12 season, all were for Manchester United and all came in cup competitions. Owen is 7/4 to score anytime with bet365.
- The last time these two sides met at the Britannia came in April 2008, when Neil Warnock's Crystal Palace triumphed 2-1 thanks to goals from Tom Soares and Jose Fonte, with Glenn Whelan grabbing Stoke's consolation.
- Whelan is one of four of that matchday squad who remain at Stoke, the others being goalkeeper Carlo Nash, midfielder Rory Delap and substitute Ryan Shawcross, who is now the club captain.
- Glen Murray has scored 22 times in 23 league appearances for Crystal Palace so far this season, already 18 more than he notched in 38 appearances in the whole of last term.
- In the last 10 seasons, Crystal Palace have only gone beyond the fourth round of the FA Cup twice, reaching the fifth round in 2003 and 2010.
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Top 3 Predictions
Stoke City 2-1 Crystal Palace
- 14.68 %
Stoke City 2-0 Crystal Palace
- 8.87 %
Stoke City 3-1 Crystal Palace
- 7.17 %
|FA Cup (FA)||15 Jan 2013||Stoke City 4 - Crystal Palace 1|
|FA Cup (FA)||5 Jan 2013||Crystal Palace 0 - Stoke City 0|
|19 May 2013||Southampton 1 - Stoke City 1||EPL|
|12 May 2013||Stoke City 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|6 May 2013||Sunderland 1 - Stoke City 1||EPL|
|27 Apr 2013||Stoke City 1 - Norwich City 0||EPL|
|20 Apr 2013||QPR 0 - Stoke City 2||EPL|
|Returns:||Stoke City £100.00||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Draw £75.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Crystal Palace £460.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
With rumours emanating that the former England striker could end his Stoke City stint before the end of the January transfer window, this match could represent a turning point for the 32-year-old at the Britannia. A good performance coupled with a goal or two could finally see his 2011-12 season kick-started, another rather subdued performance and it could be the last we see of him at the top level.
The highly-rated wideman may have gone off the boil in recent weeks since his debut England appearance in November's friendly defeat to Sweden, with Ian Holloway claiming the constant transfer speculation around him has affected his performances. However, the 20-year-old is sure to relish the chance to demonstrate his abilities at a Premier League ground and will fancy his chances of causing Stoke problems.
The Potters' Premier League nous, power and experience should be enough to see off a Palace side who have been on a poor run of form in the Championship of late, although the attacking trio of Bolasie, Murray and Zaha could prove tricky for the Staffordshire club to handle.
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed