By James Kinsella

Stoke City travel to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park following an alarming start to the season and maligned boss Mark Hughes will be desperate to arrest the slide.

The Potters have scored just two goals this season, sit bottom of the Premier League and have not kept a clean sheet in 14 games.

Hughes is not worried though.

“We’ve got games coming up where we feel we have real opportunities to win, so we are not concerned,” the Welsh boss stated in the pre-match press conference

“Performance-wise we haven’t as yet been able to put together a solid 90-minute Premier League performance. That will come.”

The Potters are still without Jack Butland, Xherdan Shaqiri, Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay.

Jakob Haugaard is also a doubt but the visitors should be able to welcome back Glen Johnson and Mame Biram Diouf from to the squad.

Crystal Palace got their first win of the campaign at Middlesbrough last weekend, as well as scoring their first goals of the season.

Christian Benteke got off the mark for the Eagles and they will hope his confidence will be up after a disappointing season at Liverpool in 2015-16.

Palace will be hoping to win this game for Pape Souare, who could face six months out following a car accident this week.

“Hopefully Pape will be out tomorrow,” boss Alan Pardew stated in the pre-match press conference.

“It was a terrible accident. We owe a huge debt to the London Air Ambulance and the surgeons who helped him. We think he’ll make a full recovery.”

As well as Souare Palace are also without Hiram Boateng, Loic Remy and Frazier Campbell, whilst Yohan Cabaye is also unlikely to make it with a groin injury.

In more positive news, Connor Wickham and Bakary Sako should be fit to make the squad.

A tough one to call – it is likely to be decided by the odd goal if there are any.

You would certainly be hard pressed to build a rationale for a high-scoring thriller – we live in hope though.

Potential Crystal Palace Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Mandanda; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Kelly; McArthur, Ledley; Townsend, Puncheon, Zaha; Benteke.

Potential Stoke City Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Given; Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Imbula, Allen; Walters, Bojan, Arnautovic; Wilfried Bony.


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