Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday November 10 2006
Stoke are on the road again for the next two weeks. First stop is London with a visit to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The Potters need to get some consistency whilst away from the Britannia and a game against one of the teams not performing at the moment may be the place to start.
Tony Pulis hopes that his team will have more resilience against Palace then they have shown recently at Southampton and Leicester: 'What we haven't done is eke out results. I think we've played well enough, we've just made silly mistakes and not been resilient enough'.
Palace have not won a game since a home win against Coventry back in September, losing their last three games in the process and manager Peter Taylor is desperate to try and stop the rot. He is able to select from an almost full squad now that James Scowcroft and Michael Hughes are fit again.
With Andy Johnson now long gone to Everton, Palace have had to bring in new talent and spent £3.75m on Leon Cort and Shefki Kuqi, but it is Cort, a defender, who has scored three goals whilst Kuqi has only scored two.
Vincent Pericard is expected to replace the suspended Ricardo Fuller. Danny Higginbotham is again doubtful after just making it into the team for Monday's match. Clint Hill should replace him but has been struggled with a leg injury himself during the week.
The chances of him repeating his Monday night heroics are indeed doubtful, but at least Portsmouth have decided not to recall him back to the South Coast for the time being despite being hit by a string of injuries.
Stoke have failed to beat Palace at Selhurst Park since 1986, but the omens are not bad as the Potters are in the habit of bucking trends at the moment with their recent wins over Leeds, Sunderland and Coventry.
Sat 18th Nov: Hull (away) kick-off: 3pm
Sat 25th Nov: WBA (home) kick-off: 3pm
Tue 28th Nov: Cardiff (home) kick-off: 7:45pm
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Date:Friday November 10 2006
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|10. Crystal Palace||38||13||9||16||-4||48|
|12. West Ham||38||12||11||15||-3||47|
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