It’s not been a good start to the season for Stoke, in fact it’s been a terrible on as they sit bottom of the Premier League table with only a solitary point to their name. That point came on the opening day of the season at Middlesbrough and since then they have shipped 9 goals in three matches.
What is more worrying is their form at home as that is where 8 of the goals conceded have come from. Shay Given may have been an excellent servant for a string of Premier League clubs but it seems as if father time is really catching up with him as of late.
Stoke travel to Selhurst Park this afternoon looking for their first win of the season and one that is much needed as Mark Hughes’ side look to shake of this slow start to the campaign. Last Saturday saw them well beaten by Tottenham at the Bet365 Stadium as Mauricio Pochettino’s men ran out 4-0 winners.
They did match Tottenham for the first half hour or so and arguably had the better of the early chances but once Mark Hughes was sent off from the touchline and Tottenham went in front it become a very long afternoon for The Potters.
They go up against a Palace side who tasted victory for the first time last week as they won at Middlesbrough. Christian Benteke and Wilifried Zaha were on hand to give The Eagles a 2-1 win and alleviate a bit of the pressure that was mounting on Alan Pardew.
Zaha was man of the match last Saturday at The Riverside and Pardew said after the game that he is a £50m player, if Zaha played like that every week then Pardew may have a point but he’s still a bit too inconsistent to be warranting that kind of price tag even if English clubs do have more money than sense.
Palace have picked up 4 points from their last two games and were unfortunate not to win last time they were in front of their own fans. A late Bournemouth equaliser snatched away two very welcome points but after a sluggish start of their own the South London outfit are starting to pick up pace.
They will go into this afternoon’s encounter as favourites albeit close ones and if Zaha can find the form of last Saturday then Stoke could be in for another torrid time and Shay Given could very well be picking the ball out of the net which seems to be all too familiar for him at the moment.
I’ll go for Palace win as Stoke’s misery continues. A home win for me.