Stoke City v Crystal Palace Preview: Great opportunity for both teams to get off the mark

Stoke City host Crystal Palace as both sides are looking for their first points of the season

Odds: Stoke 11/13, Draw 5/2, Crystal Palace 19/5

Neither side have got off to the start they were looking for after both losing to top-4 hopefuls last weekend but both managers will be looking at this game as an opportunity to get their respective seasons up and running.

Mark Hughes will take some encouragement from his side’s late rally at Anfield which resulted in them just missing out on a point as Jonathan Walters’ penalty was saved late on whilst Ian Holloway has reasons to be encouraged by running Tottenham Hotspur close.

Stoke will be without Wilson Palacious who misses the game through illness but should be well enough to return for their visit to West Ham next weekend. Mark Hughes will try to continue putting his own stamp on the team but he must be targeting a victory here against a newly-promoted side.

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway will hope he doesn’t have anything to complain about on the refereeing front this weekend as he could give Jason Puncheon his Palace debut after joining on loan from Southampton. Holloway will hope Puncheon can provide a bit more goal threat, something which was severely lacking in their 1-0 loss to Tottenham.

Palace will be looking to take advantage of any difficulties Stoke have whilst adapting to Mark Hughes’ style of play, and will have marked this game as an opportunity to get some points on the board, though Stoke are the bookies favourites.

Last time they met

Stoke City 4-1 Crystal Palace (AET) FA Cup third round replay January 2013

An eventful encounter which saw Crystal Palace having an early opportunity to score but Jermaine Easter’s early penalty was saved by Thomas Sorensen.

In the second half, Kenwyne Jones headed in Matthew Etherington’s cross which could have been prevented if it wasn’t for poor goalkeeping, but Glen Murray equalised late on in normal time for Palace from their second penalty of the game. However, that was as good as it got for Palace as a brace from Jonathan Walters, with a goal from Cameron Jerome gave the Potters victory.

image: © ronnie macdonald

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