Crystal Palace host Stoke City for the first time in Premier League history on Saturday in what is the first of a crucial run of home games for the Eagles.
Tony Pulis, David Kemp and Gerry Francis are all preparing to take on their former employers, knowing that a win would take them to within two points of the Potters, who currently lie in 12th place.
Palace have lost just one of their last five home games in the league, with their last outings in SE25 ending in a 1-1 draw with Norwich City on New Year’s Day.
Meanwhile, Stoke shipped five at home against a rampant Liverpool side last weekend and have lost three of their last four games in the league, conceding 14 goals in the process.
The Potters could climb into the top half with a win, but have only managed to take all three points once on the road this season, losing on seven occasions. But Mark Hughes has won four of his six meetings with Pulis as Premier League bosses.
Crystal Palace: Cameron Jerome will be unavailable for selection this weekend, as the forward is not able to play against his parent club.
Kagisho Dikgacoi has been ruled out with a calf injury, but Yannick Bolasie is expected to be named in the squad after being substituted against Tottenham with a groin problem.
Fellow winger Jerome Thomas has picked up another knock in training in this week which will keep out of the matchday 18, while Paddy McCarthy is not expected to be named in the squad despite coming through 70 minutes for the development side in the week.
Glenn Murray (cruciate ligament) and Jack Hunt (broken ankle) are both two or three weeks away from returning to full training.
Stoke City: Striker Kenwyne Jones has been left out of the squad that makes the trip to Selhurst Park after not turning up for the game against Liverpool last Sunday.
Jack Butland is expected to continue in goal with Asmir Begovic still recovering from a broken finger, while Robert Huth and Andy Wilkinson remain out of action in what is a depleted Potters backline.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Assistants: G Beswick, I Hussin
Fourth Official: J Linington
|Palace wins||Draws||Stoke wins|
LAST MEETING AT SELHURST PARK
Palace hosted Stoke City in the FA Cup in January last year, with the Eagles coming close to causing an upset against their Premier League opponents.
The Eagles held a full-strength Potters side, then managed by Tony Pulis, to a 0-0 draw, forcing a replay at the Britannia Stadium.
That proved an equally close encounter, with Palace taking the game into extra time after holding the Potters to a 1-1 draw, but the hosts rallied in the additional 30 minutes, eventually coming out 4-1 victors.
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Palace win: 5/4
Stoke win: 9/4
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