Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace put five past Leicester City 4-last weekend in what was their biggest victory this season in the league. The win saw the Eagles move up to the 11th place in the points table and the manager will want his side to continue the winning run, when they travel to Bet365 Stadium this weekend, to take on a Stoke City side, that is still three points away from safety.
The Potters stole a point from their trip to Anfield in the last round and have now played three back to back draws. They will have to take more than a point from this game as they need four points from the last two games to get to safety.
Palace will want to break into the top half of the table and a win in this game will push them into the 10th spot, level on points with Newcastle United. Here is the predicted lineup Hodgson might field for this tie:
In early team news, Bakary Sako, Jason Puncheon, and Scott Dann remain the only long-term absentees for Palace ahead of this game. They will also miss Connor Wickham, who is back in training and should be fit before the end of the season.
Expected lineup (4-4-2)
Wayne Hennessey has been exceptional for Palace in the last two games and will want to put in a similar performance against The Potters this weekend. He will start under the bar while Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins will have to deal with the likes of Peter Crouch and Mame Diouf in this game.
Patrick van Aanholt found the back of the net in the 5-0 victory last weekend and will keep his place at left-back while Joel Ward is a regular at right-back.
Luka Milivojevic is the heartbeat of this Palace side and he needs to have a solid game for his side to take anything from this tie. He will be partnered with Yohan Cabaye, who has been effective in the last two games for the Eagles.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and James McArthur both scored against the Foxes and will continue on the left and right side of the midfield in this game for Palace.
Christian Benteke scored a late penalty against Leicester City but will only start from the bench as Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend have both been in decent form, playing as a strike partnership.
Here is how they might line up: