Crystal Palace will be welcoming a struggling Stoke City to the Selhurst Park and will be aware of the challenge a bruised Stoke will be presenting. Crystal Palace themselves had a horrendous start as they lost both their opening matches against West Bromwich Albion and Spurs. Alan Pardew has gone in hard in the transfer market and he has been backed by the owners to the hilt and he is expected to improve their performances considerably.
The likes of Christian Benteke has been brought in to solve their striking conundrum, while Andros Townsend is capable of mirroring Yannick Bolasie’s impact for the club but Pardew will be hoping he is more consistent in his quest. And in what would be a relief to the Eagles, they seem to be headed towards better results after they stemmed the flow of defeats by drawing 1-1 against Bournemouth before notching up their maiden win of the campaign against newly promoted Middlesbrough.
But their match against Stoke City won’t be straightforward by any means. The Potters are currently on a free fall and Mark Hughes will be at a loss to fathom the reason why. They have the requisite arsenal to challenge for the top half but nothing has fallen in place till now and they will be getting another opportunity against Palace and Hughes has to avoid a loss at all costs.
T4O’s PREDICTED STOKE CITY LINE-UP VS CRYSTAL PALACE (4-2-3-1)
Steve Mandanda will take up his natural position in goal after being signed on a free this season. Wayne Hennessey offers another option to the gaffer. Joel Ward will be at right-back while Kelly might have to deputise at left-back. Pardew has plenty on his hands regarding the full-back positions after Papa Souare’s unfortunate road mishap, which has ruled him out for the foreseeable future. Scott Dann and Delaney might form the centre-back partnership with James Tomkins offering another option.
Joe Ledley and James McArthur are likely to fill the double pivot and will be instrumental in dealing with the likes of Bojan and Imbula. Jason Puncheon will look to pull the strings in the No.10 role and will have to step his game up a notch.
Wilfred Zaha will take up the left-flank role and will be his usual nuisance for the full-backs but he has to work on his consistency big time. Andros Townsend will be on the opposite side with Christian Benteke expected to lead the line.