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Match Previews

Preview: Stoke City vs Crystal Palace

4 May 2018

Palace could mathematically secure their place in next season's Premier League at the Bet365 Stadium against a Potters side desperately battling to do the same.

Having beaten Saturday's opponents more times in Premier League history than any other club, another successful three-point haul for the Eagles in the lunchtime kick-off will see them assured of staying up, but even if that doesn't happen, results elsewhere could seal it for them anyway.

Things are much more precarious for the Potters, who will be relegated if they lose on Saturday. Even if they draw, they're down if Swansea avoid defeat against Bournemouth or Southampton win at Everton.

Even if Paul Lambert's team win, they'll see their 10-year stay in the top-flight end this weekend if Southampton, Swansea, Huddersfield Town (who don't play until Sunday) and West Ham United all do likewise.

Stoke in last-chance saloon

Stoke City

Having never really been in a relegation scrap this late in the season during their decade of Premier League action, Lambert's team are currently staring the reality of relegation in the face after a dismal run of form.

Since winning his first game in charge against Huddersfield in January, Lambert has failed to win again in his subsequent 12 games - the longest run in English football - although he has seen his team clinch three draws in succession, but realistically only a win against Palace will give them a slither of survival hope.

That would set them up for a final day clash at Swansea with both teams potentially locked on the same number of points by then, or hand Stoke the chance of overhauling Huddersfield or West Ham's totals on what could be a dramatic final day.

View From The Opposition

Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert: “We obviously have to look at our own game and when we do get a chance then we have to take them – this is a must-win game for us. I always think Crystal Palace have goals in them, they’re a strong side and scoring five last weekend is a big thing to do at this level.

“They will be confident, it is a tough game for us but we’re playing well enough to win and we’re at home so we know we have to perform for our supporters who will be right behind us.

“They can see the fight and the spirit that the lads have given them and I think that’s what Stoke City fans want - they want players battling for everything. That’s what they’ve done since we’ve been here and because of that we’re still well within the fight.”

Team News

Jason Puncheon

Palace: Jason Puncheon joined in with training again on Friday having been out of action since December, but neither him or Connor Wickham are expected to play this season.

Scott Dann (knee) and Bakary Sako (ankle) are both out long-term.

Stoke: Bruno Martins Indi is out of the game after picking up a knock against Liverpool last weekend, and joins Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kostas Stafylidis on the sidelines, while Glen Johnson is also a doubt with a groin strain.

Ill-discipline has seen Ibrahim Afellay, Saido Berhaino and Jese all banished from the first-team squad and deemed unavailable for selection by Lambert.

Matchday Officials

Martin Atkinson

Martin Atkinson oversees just his second Palace game of the season, which proved to be the Eagles' biggest win on their travels as they beat Leicester City 3-0 in December, when he sent off the Foxes' Wilfred Ndidi.

Conversely, he has taken charge of three Stoke games this season and the Potters have lost every one of them, including a 2-1 defeat in the League Cup to Coventry City and last month's 2-1 defeat to Everton when Atkinson dismissed Charlie Adam.

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistant Refs: Lee Betts and Peter Kirkup
Fourth Official: Neil Swarbrick

Matchday Stats

Mamadou Sakho

Stoke have won just two of their nine Premier League meetings with Crystal Palace - both at home in their first such meeting (2-1 in August 2013) and most recently at the Bet365 Stadium (1-0 in February 2017).

Palace have won six of their nine Premier League meetings with the Potters (D1 L2) - against no side have they won more in the competition.

Three of the Eagles' six Premier League wins against Stoke have been in matches in which they've trailed - against no side do they have more comeback wins in the competition (also three vs Liverpool).

The Eagles have kept a clean sheet in each of their last two Premier League games, last keeping three in a row back in March 2017.

No side have scored more Premier League goals in the 90th minute or later than Crystal Palace this season (6).

Paul Lambert has won just one of his four Premier League meetings with Crystal Palace (D1 L2), with his sides failing to score in the other three games.

Despite leading the way at Stoke for goal involvements this season (7 goals, 6 assists), Xherdan Shaqiri has neither scored or assisted in any of his last eight Premier League games.

Wilfried Zaha has been directly involved in five goals in his last four Premier League appearances (4 goals, 1 assist).

Head-to-Head

  Stoke wins Draws Palace wins
League 17 12 26
FA Cup 2 1 1
League Cup 0 0 0
Total 19 13 27

Matchday Information 

Bet365 Stadium

There are still a few tickets available for Palace fans, which will remain on sale until around 1pm on Friday afternoon - book now.

Coach depart Selhurst Park at 6.30am, and are free of charge for season ticket holders and paid members with a match ticket. Guest tickets are £24 per seat - book now

For more information about the Bet365 Stadium, check out our Away Fan Guide.

Live Coverage

If you can’t make it to Stoke, there will be live commentary on Palace Player, for which a 24-hour pass can be purchased if you aren't an annual subscriber.

There will also be updates on Twitter, and highlights available on Palace TV from midnight on Sunday morning. 


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