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Match Previews

Preview: Stoke City v Crystal Palace

18 December 2015


INTRO
The Eagles go into their final game before Christmas in high spirits, and not just because of the time of the year. Seven points from their last three games has seen Alan Pardew's men climb to sixth in the table, and there's even a slim chance they could climb into the Champions League places with a favourable set of results this weekend.

However Stoke City have been making some waves in the Premier League of late, with Mark Hughes' side boasting one of the best defensive records in recent weeks. Ryan Shawcross' return from injury has ensured the Potters haven't conceded a single goal in the time that the centre-back has been on the field this season, and they've kept seven clean sheets in their last nine games.

Jack Butland, who boasts an 82.5% saves to shots ratio, has also been in superb form for the Capital One Cup semi-finalists, and the last time they were in action at the Britannia Stadium they put in a convincing display against Manchester City to win 2-0.

Palace will fancy their chances though having won 10 of the 15 away Premier League games under Alan Pardew, and after Yohan Cabaye's goal beat Southampton last weekend he will be relishing this game, having scored four times in four games against the Potters.


OPPOSITION VIEW

Mark Hughes: "There's no coincidence to their [Palace's] record. With the team and the weapons they have, it lends itself better to playing away.

"They can soak up pressure, which they are very good at, and then they have pace and a real threat going the other way. We need to be vigilant and make sure we don't over-commit. We have to be in the majority and not the minority when they look to break.

"We're now ahead of where we thought we'd be. That's encouraging considering we didn't win any of the first six games."


TEAM NEWS

Stoke City: After making a big impact against Manchester City, Xherdan Shaqiri missed last week's goalless draw with West Ham United and is touch and go for the clash with Palace.

Geoff Cameron is also struggling with a similar ailment, while Peter Crouch and Peter Odemwingie have been out long-term.

Crystal Palace: Alan Pardew has said that he will leave it as late as he can to allow Mile Jedinak time to recover from the ankle injury that forced him to miss the Southampton game.

Joe Ledley is fit again after missing the last few matches but Bakary Sako is still out with a hamstring strain.


STATS
The side scoring first has only gone on to win once in the four previous Premier League meetings between Stoke and Palace.

Stoke City have converted a league-low 10% of their shots in the Premier League this season, and their 16 Premier League games this season have produced just 27 goals; a league-low.

The Eagles are the only side to have not been behind at half-time in a Premier League game this season (winning three and drawing 13 at half-time).

Wilfried Zaha has embarked on a league-high 111 dribbles in the Premier League this season and has managed 10+ dribbles in six different PL matches in 2015-16 so far.


OFFICIALS

Robert Madley takes charge of his first Palace game of the season and his second of 2015, having overseen the goalless draw against Aston Villa on New Year's Day. In 13 Premier League games this season he has shown three red cards and given seven penalties.

Referee: R Madley
Assistants: A Garrett and P Kirkup
Fourth Official: A Marriner


HEAD-TO-HEAD
Stoke winsDrawsPalace wins
League161222
FA Cup210
League Cup000
Total181322


LAST MEETING AT THE BRITANNIA STADIUM

21st March 2015
Stoke City 1-2 Crystal Palace
Premier League

A goal and an assist from Glenn Murray helped Palace move 11 points clear of the relegation zone with victory over Stoke City.

Striker Mame Diouf put Stoke ahead with a cool finish after Charlie Adam's deflected free-kick fell into his path.

Murray scored a penalty after goalkeeper Amir Begovic fouled Yannick Bolasie in the Stoke area.

Wilfried Zaha made it 2-1 with a low strike after Murray flicked on a long ball from goalkeeper Julian Speroni.


TICKETS
Tickets are still available for season ticket holders and paid members with a maximum of two available per client reference number.

Adults: £25  
Over 65s: £19
Under 17s £15 
Under 11s: £12               


TRAVEL
For direction on how to get to the Britannia Stadium, read our away ground guide here.

For more information on the ground, click here.


LIVE COVERAGE
Live commentary of all 90 minutes from the Britannia Stadium will be available on Palace Player. Click HERE to log in or sign up. 

There will also be constant updates throughout the day at @CPFC on Twitter.

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