Date: 7th May 2016 at 7:46am
Written by:

Palace enter the penultimate weekend of the season still not mathematically safe as they entertain a Stoke side who have been out-of-sorts in recent weeks.

When the Eagles won 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium in December, it took them level on points with Tottenham and into the top six; their collapse since then has been remarkable, with last weekend’s reverse at Newcastle meaning Palace have still won just once in 2016.

With attention now shifting to the upcoming FA Cup Final against Manchester United, several of the home team will be playing for their places in the showpiece occasion at Wembley in a fortnight, which could provide motivation for the out-of-form hosts.

Palace go into their final home game having lost on 10 occasions at Selhurst Park this season; only Aston Villa have suffered more defeats on their own turf this season than Alan Pardew’s side.

Stoke ended a run of three consecutive defeats last weekend but couldn’t end their winless run as Jermain Defoe’s late penalty rescued a point for Sunderland in the Potteries.

Their change in fortunes has been largely down to their defensive lapses; they have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight games and have shipped 15 goals in their current five-match winless streak.

However, wins in each of their final two games would equal the club record points tally of 54 in the Premier League, which should be enough of an incentive to keep the team going right until the end.

Team News:

Wilfried Zaha is absent for the hosts due to a leg muscle injury, and fellow electric winger Yannick Bolasie is also doubtful along with Mile Jedinak.

Stoke’s Spanish striker Bojan will be assessed after picking up a midweek knock in training, whilst Glen Johnson and Marc Wilson are definitely out.

League Position: Crystal Palace – 16th (39 pts); Stoke – 10th (48 pts)
Previous Meeting: Stoke 1-2 Crystal Palace (December 19, 2015)
Crystal Palace – DWDDLL; Stoke – WDLLLD
Key Men: Crystal Palace – Jason Puncheon; Stoke – Marko Arnautovic
Shoot Says: Crystal Palace 1-1 Stoke

Brought to you by Shoot!