Jan 18, 2014, 9:37 AM EDT
Stoke City may be in 12th, but with just four points separating the Potters from the drop, their visit to Selhurst Park is still a relegation battle. And if Crystal Palace can come away with a win on Saturday, they just might find themselves out of the drop zone (watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).
It’s the first time that Tony Pulis will face his former side, but he’ll have to set aside any lingering feelings of goodwill. The Palace manager has but one task: keep his side from sliding back into the Championship. Recent losses to Tottenham and Manchester City were most likely expected, but Pulis will have to pick up points against fellow relegation-battlers if Palace are to survive.
While they hosts aren’t exactly known for their scoring prowess (just 15 goals in 21 games), they may be able to take advantage of recent weaknesses in the Stoke side. While under Pulis, the Potters were certainly able to defend, both Newcastle and Liverpool scored five against in recent weeks, while Spurs put in three.
Pulis remains confident in his starting XI, despite last week’s loss to Spurs. The Palace manager makes just one change: on-loan Cameron Jerome is ineligible against his parent club, so Adlene Guedioura replaces the forward.
Marko Arnautović drops to the bench for the visitors, with Oussama Assaidi starting instead. Peter Crouch, Charlie Adam and Jonathan Walters, who all scored against Liverpool last week, all start once more.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Parr, Bolasie, Ward, Jedinak, Puncheon, Guedioura, Chamakh
Subs: Price, Moxey, O’Keefe, Williams, Bannan, Wilbraham, Gayle
Stoke City: Butland, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Adam, Walters, Assaidi, Crouch
Subs: Sorensen, Muniesa, Palacios, Arnautovic, Guidetti, Shotton, Ireland
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