Stoke vs Palace preview
9th April 2007
Stoke City will attempt to make it six points in three days with the visit of 12th placed Crystal Palace to the Brit.
Some are likening Stoke's late run of form with Palace's back in 2004 which saw them sneak into a play-off place and then go on and win the play-off final, but the Eagles have not been flying as high this season.
Tony Pulis was full of praise for Ricardo Fuller after his performance on Saturday: 'When Ric is on form like that he is unplayable, he just didn't get enough quality balls in the second-half.'
Stoke City Team News:
Stoke City will definitely be without Mamady Sidibe who had to have 10 stitches in his Achilles after being stretchered off early on in Saturday's visit to West Brom which will mean that Jon Parkin will pair up with Ricardo Fuller up front.
Stoke's midfield injury crisis was eased slightly with Dominic Matteo's surprise return on Saturday. He played well in the 3-1 win, despite a last minute pain killing injection as he struggles back to full fitness. If he does not play, this may leave the door open for Lee Hendrie to make his first start for several weeks as he also makes his way back to fitness. Darel Russell may also be available as he recovers from hamstring and back injuries, but Salif Diao is still likely to be out. Andy Griffin is another absentee as he serves the final leg of his three match ban.
Player to watch: Ricardo Fuller
Crystal Palace Team News:
James Scowcroft missed their 3-0 win over Preston game on Saturday with a slight hamstring strain, but he is expected to return to the squad for the trip north. Definitely out are Dougie Freedman and Michael Hughes (both ankle) and Stuart Green (shoulder). Ben Watson may be fit after picking up a late injury on Saturday.
Player to watch: Clinton Morrison
Morrison returned this season to the club he left in 2002 for the bright lights of Birmingham and has scored 11 goals in 26 starts for Palace.
Match Facts & Stats
Always a difficult opponent in recent years, Stoke managed to get their first points out of Palace in six attempts earlier this season in a 1-0 win at Selhurst Park. There is no doubt that new manager, Peter Taylor has now instilled some fight in the South London team which has seen them climb up the table to safety and this match could be close.
Sat 14th April: Cardiff (away) kick-off: 3pm
Sat 21st April: Hull City (home) kick-off: 3pm
Sat 28th April: Colchester (home) kick-off: 3pm