Premier League Match Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Stoke City

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Updated: January 15, 2014
Crystal

Match Date: 18 January 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Selhurst Park

 

Crystal Palace

Thus far, Crystal Palace are yet to score a win this year in the English top-tier football. They welcomed the new year with a 1-1 draw with Norwich City (not bad for a start) and finished their most recent top-flight match in a 2-0 away defeat from Tottenham Hotspur. Their rank in the league table was unchanged—still in the relegation zone and thus remaining to be among the most at-risk clubs. In other competitions, however, the side are a little bit more impressive. They trounced West Bromwich 0-2 in an exciting clash at The Hawthorns for the FA Cup.

 

Tony Pulis created hope for the Eagles when they displayed considerable improvements under his tutelage. But their future in the league remains uncertain, especially now that they are back to the table’s bottom. The odds to stay in the highest tournament may be small, but it is still a possibility. When they were beaten by frontrunners Manchester City only by a single goal, there were hints that Palace may indeed have a good shot at surviving the season.

 

Stoke City

Inconsistency plays a major factor in Stoke City’s form, vaunting a current record of five wins, seven draws, and nine losses. After only obtaining a total of 22 points from 21 fixtures, the side landed in the table’s bottom half. They are also being afflicted by a serious difficulty in the defense, as evidenced by a much higher number of goals conceded (35) than goals scored (22).

 

The Potters are excellent at aerial duels and in creating chances using through balls but they are heavily fragile when it comes to defending against long shots and often commit errors. Aside from these, Mark Hughes’ men are also in dire need of a much more extensive practice in managing set pieces and in keeping possession of the ball.

 

Football betting tip: Earning the same score at the start of the new year, as well as displaying almost the same caliber in terms of pitch skills, Crystal Palace and Stoke City could drive their duel in a draw.

 

Crystal Palace | Image source: telegraph.co.uk