After opening their season with defeat, both Stoke City and Crystal Palace will be looking for redemption when they clash in the Premier League this week.
Both clubs were perhaps unlucky not to earn a point after having late chances to steal draws but could not capitalize on their opportunities. Jonathan Walters saw his injury-time penalty saved by Simon Mignolet, while Kagisho Dikgacoi had his late effort saved by Hugo Lloris.
And while it might not seem like much, the reality is that games like this one could be all-important for both of these clubs by the time April or May comes around.
Crystal Palace—back in the top-flight—will be desperate to avoid going back down in relegation this year while the Potters—now managed by Mark Hughes—will obviously want to do the same. Neither appear to have any real chance at making the top half of the table given the depth of talent in the league, thus making this game an intriguingly important one for both of these clubs.
Which club will finally get their maiden win of the 2013-14 season?
Read on for a full preview of the match including all the need-to-know details, live stream information, latest team news, analysis and a whole lot more.
Date: Saturday, August 24, 2013
Start Time: 10:00 a.m. ET (3:00 p.m. UK time)
Venue: Britannia Stadium, Stoke, England
Odds: Stoke City (51.97%), Draw (27.99%), Crystal Palace (20.04%)
(Note: All odds provided via StatsInsights.com)
TV Info and Live Stream Information
According to Live Soccer TV, coverage of this match will be provided in the United States via Premier League Extra Time, DirecTV and NBC Sports Live Extra.
Sky Sports and BT Sport will provide coverage in the United Kingdom.
Latest Team News
Crystal Palace's latest signing of the summer—Jason Puncheon on loan, per BBC Sport—should be available for inclusion here in a huge boost for the Eagles.
Jerome Thomas' injury could also mean a starting spot for Jonathan Williams.
The Potters will likely remain unchanged from last week.
The table below is a list of the players likely to miss this one due to injury.
|Stoke City||Crystal Palace|
Jamie Ness (knock)
Wilson Palacios (illness)
Brek Shea (MCL/knee)
Glenn Murray (ACL/knee)
Jerome Thomas (ankle)
Jonathan Parr (ankle)
Season So Far
As mentioned, both Stoke and Crystal Palace were edged 1-0 by Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, respectively, with both possessing late chances to steal a point.
The Potters showed last season in the Premier League that they are very tough to break down at the Britannia Stadium and will likely be tough again in this one. However, Palace are very strong on the counterattack (as they showed last season in the Championship), and with the addition of several strong players this summer should offer enough in attack to threaten the home team.
Here's how WhoScored expects the two teams to line up in this one.
Players to Watch For
Asmir Begovic was arguably the player of the round in his opening game against Liverpool, with the shot-stopper making several incredible reflex saves.
Stoke will certainly need him to have a big one if they're going to keep the Eagles at bay. Part of that will depend on whether Palace's Mile Jedinak can get the better of Steven N'Zonzi in the middle of the pitch—a battle that will no doubt have a strong say on the outcome of this match.
Who ya' got?
Crystal Palace were thoroughly impressive in their Premier League recall last week against Tottenham Hotspur, but you've got to wonder just how much of that was due to their home fans. They're a long way away from Selhurst Park this week at the Britannia, and as league teams can definitely attest to, beating Stoke at home certainly isn't an easy achievement at all.
Mark Hughes will be desperate to get the season off to a strong start, knowing full well that the pressure could immediately be on him if his team doesn't perform.
And while this match likely won't be filled with glorious attacking football and precision passing, the home team should just have enough to get over the line.
Perhaps it will be Begovic to the rescue once more.
Prediction: Stoke City 1-0 Crystal Palace
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