Crystal Palace vs Stoke City
Sunday 18th September 2016
HOW SUPER this weekend’s Super Sunday clash against Crystal Palace will become is still to be decided as Mark Hughes looks to improve Stoke City’s stuttering start to the season in South-East London.
After the creditable draw at newly-promoted Middlesbrough on the opening day, the Potters are pointless from three matches against sides that have all had enjoyable starts in Manchester City, Everton and most recently Tottenham Hotspur.
Stoke have endured similar starts before though and a win at Selhurst Park would actually produce a superior points return from the first five games compared to last season.
Victory in City’s last Sunday fixture against West Ham United on the final day in May also ended a six game winless streak and something similar this time around would no doubt boost confidence in the camp ahead of two further home matches in a busy seven-day period.
Four of the last five September meetings between the two sides – including all of the last three – have ended in draws and a point wouldn’t be the worst platform to build on ahead of those games against Hull City and West Bromwich Albion back at base.
Crystal Palace 2 (Gayle 47, 68)
Stoke City 1 (Adam 26)
Charlie Adam opened the day’s scoring with his only goal of the season in May before a Dwight Gayle brace ended hopes of a seventh away league victory.
He finished from close range after Yannick Bolasie’s mazy run and pass before firing home a 25-yard free kick to secure the Eagles’ top-flight status.
Stoke City: Haugaard; Bardsley, Shawcross (c), Cameron, Pieters; Whelan (Bojan 75), Imbula; Shaqiri (Walters 65), Adam (Ireland 65), Arnautovic; Crouch. Unused: Bachmann, Joselu, Diouf, Wollscheid.
Ade Akinbiyi may not look back on his time at Crystal Palace with great fondness but his spell with the Potters was undoubtedly a success.
Arriving on loan from the Eagles at the back end of the 2002/03 season, Akinbiyi made an instance impact as the Potters successfully fought off an immediate
return to the third tier of English football.
A memorable goal in the final day’s televised clash against Reading rubberstamped the Club’s survival and the striker then sealed a permanent move to the Potteries.
He scooped the Player of the Season Award at the end of his first full season with the Potters, netting ten goals as a comfortable mid-table finish was secured.
Those also joining Stoke from Crystal Palace include Tom Soares, Leon Cort and Simon Rodger whilst players heading in the opposite include Clint Hill, Cameron Jerome and Andrew Davies.
The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports as part of their Super Sunday programming.
Live audio commentary from Nigel Johnson and Matt Sandoz will be broadcast on Stoke City Player.
An interactive blog will also be available at stokecityfc.com along with updates on Twitter.
PRE MATCH INTERVIEWS ON