Crystal Palace v Stoke City

6 May

Marko Arnautovic


Marko Arnautovic has scored 11 top-flight goals this season, the most by a Stoke player in a Premier League campaign

TEAM NEWS

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha will be absent because of a leg muscle problem which could rule him out of the FA Cup final.

Yannick Bolasie and Mile Jedinak are both doubts due to illness and injury respectively.

Stoke forward Bojan will be assessed after suffering a foot injury in training on Thursday.

Defender Glen Johnson and Marc Wilson are both definite absentees with knee problems.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Alistair Mann: “When Crystal Palace won at the Britannia Stadium in December, nobody would have predicted their subsequent astonishing collapse in form.

“That victory took them sixth, level on points with fourth-placed Spurs, yet just one win in their next 19 means they’ve reached the penultimate match of the campaign still not mathematically safe.

“With the FA Cup final two weeks away, this would be a timely moment to make certain of their status.

“Stoke have been in abject recent form themselves and with their outside target of European qualification long since beyond them, Palace will surely feel they can record a third win of the season against them.”

Twitter: @alistairmann01

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew: “It’s not easy to keep minds off the cup (final) because for our level it’s a unique position for a lot of the players.

“Some of us who have been here before know how to treat it, but for others it’s difficult.

“The focus has definitely slipped in the league and you can’t argue with that. I’ve got to put a team out that’s focused to win, and that’s important.”

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes: “It is a difficult one for Crystal Palace, I am sure their focus will be looking ahead to the cup final but I think I am right in saying it is their last home game before the end of the season so that will always put an edge to your game.

“(The performance will be for) the supporters. Not all of them will be able to go to the cup final so they will want to be able to put in a good performance, so we have to be ready for that.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

The Eagles are not mathematically safe yet and I don’t see them getting a win this week, but I also don’t see them going down.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-1

Lawro’s full predictions v world darts champion Adrian Lewis.

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
Palace have won just one of their last 19 league matches (D7, L11)<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Palace have won four of the last five meetings in all competitions, drawing the other.
  • The most recent meeting was a 1-0 FA Cup fourth-round win for the Eagles on 30 January.

Crystal Palace

  • Palace’s only victory in 19 league matches came against Norwich a month ago.
  • They have only scored one goal in their last four league games.
  • The Eagles have earned just eight points in 2016, the joint-lowest tally in the Premier League alongside relegated Aston Villa.
  • Scott Dann’s tally of five goals this season is the most by a Premier League defender.

Stoke City

  • Stoke are on a five-match winless league run (D2, L3).
  • They have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight league games.
  • Stoke need wins in their last two games to equal their highest Premier League points tally of 54.
  • Marko Arnautovic has scored 11 top-flight goals this season, the most by a Stoke player in a Premier League campaign.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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