Crystal Palace - Stoke City Preview: Cup final could be a distraction for the Eagles

Alan Pardew's side's fixture at Wembley could take concentration away from their remaining league fixtures

Crystal Palace - Stoke City Preview: Cup final could be a distraction for the Eagles
Photo: VAVEL UK

Last weekend's 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United was a disappointing end to a week in which Crystal Palace celebrated getting into the FA Cup final. They now have a chance to avenge that loss, at home to Stoke City.

Minds on the Cup 

The team’s Premier League form has dipped dramatically despite their FA Cup exploits, and manager Alan Pardew has said “it’s not easy to keep minds off the cup final."

The South London side beat Watford in their Semi-Final, with Striker Connor Wickham scoring the winner. Photo: the Telegraph
The South London side beat Watford in their Semi-Final, with Striker Connor Wickham scoring the winner. Photo: the Telegraph

On the League form, Pardew said “the focus has definitely slipped in the league and you can’t argue with that”

Team News

The Eagles will be without England winger Wilfried Zaha due to a leg muscle injury, an injury that could also see him miss the FA Cup final at the end of the month. 

They could also be without Yannick Bolasie due to illness and Mile Jedinak through injury.

Some positive news however is that Scott Dann has recovered from illness.

April was a difficult month for Stoke City, as the potters dropped points in all five of their games. This form has left them ninth in the table.

Manager Mark Hughes has said in the run up to this weekend’s fixture that he believes Palace’s performance will be “for the supporters”, as they won’t all be able to make the trip to Wembley, so his side have to be up for the game. 

On his team's season, the Welshman said that the word frustrated sums up their campaign. He feels that they “have excelled at some points", while other times they've have disappointed themselves.

Not all negative

However with two games to go, this could be a successful season for the Potters, who can still achieve the highest points total in their Premier League history.

Team News

Potters forward Bojan Krkic has a 50/50 chance of feature this weekend due to a foot injury sustained in training.

Defender Glen Johnson will miss Saturday’s game due to a knee injury, and so will fellow defender Marc Wilson who will also miss the final game of the season next week. 

Head-to-Head record

Palace have won four of the previous five games in all competitions, with the other fixture ending in a draw.

The two teams met in the Eagles run to this years FA Cup, with Pardew’s side winning 1-0 at Selhurst Park.