Stoke V Crystal Palace at bet365 Stadium : Match Preview

By
10 February 2017
Stoke V Crystal Palace - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Mark Hughes expects Palace reaction at Stoke

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has stressed the importance of his side bracing themselves on Saturday for a Crystal Palace outfit desperate to bounce back from their humiliation last time out.

The two clubs' Premier League meeting at the Bet365 Stadium comes a week on from Palace being thrashed 4-0 at home by fellow relegation candidates Sunderland - all of the goals coming before half-time.

The result left the Eagles level on points in 19th position with bottom club Sunderland, two adrift of safety, and their league record under boss Sam Allardyce showing five defeats and only one win from seven matches so far.

Palace's players were addressed by club chairman Steve Parish immediately after the loss before being called in for an early-morning meeting with Allardyce the next day.

And Hughes said on Friday: "The game will be difficult for us because clearly Palace had a poor performance and result last time out, and you would imagine without a doubt there will be a reaction from them.

"They are struggling a little bit for form and in a bad place - but actually I view it as probably the worst result for us because you know they will be better than they were last week.

"We have to be ready and make sure that we impose our game on them, and not vice versa."

Stoke, who Hughes has guided to a ninth-placed finish in each of the last three seasons, suffered their first defeat in five league matches last weekend as they went down 1-0 at West Brom.

The Potters are currently 11th, two points worse off than ninth-placed West Ham.

Allardyce believes last weekend's thrashing has now been put to bed after clear-the-air meetings.

"That was him releasing his frustration on the basis he is a Crystal Palace fan and he wanted to talk to the players and that was fine by me," Allardyce said of Parish's talks.

"By the end of Sunday morning it was all clear what we'd been through and how we'd let ourselves down. We have got to take it on the chin and bounce back and show some fighting spirit.

"The players had Monday off to reflect and it was done and dusted. On Tuesday we were planning for Stoke.

"You should not lose at home. It's like I keep telling the players, 'If you can't win, don't lose', but we keep losing. Whatever game comes along we have to try to get a result against whoever we play now."

Palace have won just one of Allardyce's seven league games in charge since he replaced Alan Pardew and he admits it is in defence where his side needs to improve.

"I thought we turned the corner away at Bournemouth because out of possession Bournemouth looked like they could play for two days without scoring," he said.

"Last Saturday at home, it was like a hot knife through butter as they say, we were wide open and had no defensive solidarity so we have got to get back to knowing what gets us out of the position we are in."


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