Writer: Jamie Chapman
Date:Thursday August 22 2013
Both teams kick started their seasons with 1-0 losses against difficult opposition. Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic put in a man of the match performance at Anfield but was helpless to prevent a Daniel Sturridge strike on the stroke of half-time. Crystal Palace sank to a 1-0 defeat at Selhurst Park against Tottenham courtesy of new boy Roberto Soldado's penalty (take note, Jonny), in a result which could have been a lot more embarrassing if Spurs had took their chances. Although his team did fail to pick up any points, Ian Holloway managed to secure himself an F.A charge that even Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn't have been able to talk himself out of.
Stoke City looked a lot better on the ball compared to last season against Liverpool, but the same problem remained; goals. The huge gap between the midfield and Peter Crouch often left the big man isolated with no options. Crystal Palace are in much worse shape in terms of goal scoring threats. Their striking options consist of Kevin Phillips, Dwight Gayle and the forgotten gunner Marouane Chamakh, and if Asmir Begovic performs at the same level as he did at Anfield, they're going to need a miracle to bag a goal at the Britannia. I'm not a gambling man (that old chestnut), but if I was, I'd have my money on Ian Holloway calling the National Conspiracy Helpline when the full time whistle is blown on Saturday.
"We have professional referees but we haven't got professional linesman"--- Ian Holloway (Crystal Palace Manager)
"We've got targets that we look at and will continue to look at , hopefully we can strengthen the squad over the next couple of weeks"---Mark Bowen (Stoke City Assistant Manager)
Brek Shea is still on the sidelines with a knee injury whilst Wilson Palacios was a late absentee in the clash vs. Liverpool.
Need I say more? Faultless at Anfield. More of the same please, Asmir.
Jason Puncheon could make his Palace debut following his midweek loan move from big-spending Southampton.
Linked with Stoke City throughout last season, he was the star performer for Palace in their season opener vs. Spurs. Jedanik mustered 1 key pass, 4 tackles and 3 interceptions in that game, a top performance for a defensive midfielder facing superior opposition.
Palace stats vs. Spurs:
Aerial Duels Won: 64%
Pass Success Rate: 70%
Total Shots (On Target/Off Target): 5 (3/2)
Stoke City stats vs. Liverpool:
Aerial Duels Won: 63%
Pass Success Rate: 80%
Total Shots (On Target/Off Target): 12 (6/6)
Stoke City have only lost 1 of their last 6 games vs. Palace. Before that, City had failed to win any of their last 13 clashes against the Eagles.
It took extra-time to separate the two team last season in an F.A cup replay. That Palace team did include new Manchester United starlet Wilfried Zaha, though.
Andre Marriner takes charge on Saturday. He has sent off at least one player in each of his last 4 Premier League games. Will he continue that streak on Saturday?
2-0 to Stoke City. Even the most pessimistic of Stoke fans can't see past us in this game, surely?
Stoke City face West Ham away on 31st August 2013, whilst Crystal Palace will play Sunderland at home.
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Date:Thursday August 22 2013
Ref Watch: Dean to officiate Hull v Stoke (Monday December 9 2013)
Wilson wins Cardiff man of the match poll (Sunday December 8 2013)
Stoke draw Leicester in the F.A. Cup 3rd Round (Sunday December 8 2013)
Super sub Assaidi stuns Chelsea (Sunday December 8 2013)
Stats: Stoke City v Chelsea (Sunday December 8 2013)
Stoke host high flying Chelsea (Friday December 6 2013)
Begovic wins Everton man of the match poll (Friday December 6 2013)
Ref Watch: Moss to officiate Stoke v Chelsea (Friday December 6 2013)
Stats: Stoke City v Cardiff City (Friday December 6 2013)
Blunt Potters held to bore draw (Friday December 6 2013)
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