Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has thanked Tony Pulis for his work during his time in charge at the Britannia Stadium.
Pulis departed the Staffordshire club in the summer after a total of 10 seasons at the helm and faces his former employers for the first time this afternoon.
Stoke currently lie in 12th position, but are just five points ahead of Palace going into Saturday’s clash at Selhurst Park.
Speaking to the media ahead of the game, Hughes said: “Tony Pulis laid the platform here. The quality of the players is first class and that’s down to good standards within the club. The work he did here is very evident and he’ll have an insight into what we’re doing.
“Palace is always a difficult place to go to, even with my recollection as a player. The crowd get right behind them. It’s even more the case this season – Pulis has come in and everyone has had a reaction to that.
“They have pace down the middle and will look to break quickly so we’ll have to make sure we have numbers at the back. We can’t afford to over-commit otherwise they’ll suck you in and hit you on the counter.”
Although Hughes is wary of the attacking threat Palace pose, the Welshman has his own plans to pick up the three points for only the second time away from home this term. And he hopes new loan signing John Guidetti can fire the goals on Saturday, after admitting the Swedish hot-shot will go straight into his squad for the game.
Hughes said: “We have to keep possession of the ball well – it’s the only way to negate the opposition’s plans. Guidetti will be involved, we’ll have to see how he is, but he will travel. He’s a very motivated young man with great ambition and we’re very pleased to have him here.
“Getting Stephen Ireland’s move permanent was very good, that’s two bits of business we’re very pleased with. Oussama Assaidi had been doing really well up until the Liverpool game, but obviously couldn’t play against his parent club. He gives us a great outlet with his pace and he’ll be itching to get back.”