Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of the Premier League contest between Stoke City
and Crystal Palace
, two sides who will be eager to put their first points of the new season on the board.
Stoke lost their opener 1-0 at Liverpool, but gave a good account of themselves. Daniel Sturridge scored the only goal of the game and the Potters were denied a late equaliser when Jonathan Walters had a penalty saved. Read our report on that game here
Meanwhile, Palace went down 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur courtesy of a Roberto Soldado
penalty. Manager Ian Holloway
was not too happy with the referee after that one, and has since been charged by the FA for his post-match outburst. You can find a full recap on that game here
Both starting XIs for this afternoon's match are now in. We will have those for you in a moment...
STOKE: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Wilson, Adam, Etherington; Crouch
PALACE: Speroni; Ward, Delaney, Gabbidon, Moxey; Puncheon, Campana, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Gayle; Chamakh
The big news for Palace is that Holloway has handed a start to former Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh
and given a debut to Jason Puncheon. The Eagles have gone with an attacking lineup this afternoon.
Two changes for Stoke from the side that started against Liverpool, with Palacios and Whelan making way for Wilson and Adam.
These sides were playing in different divisions last season, but they did meet in the FA Cup at this ground. Stoke won that game by the resounding scoreline of 4-1.
Some pre-match quotes from the two managers coming up...
HUGHES: "I want us to create more chances, score more goals and have more confidence in moving up the pitch. Fans will be hoping to see a different approach in our play and hopefully they'll be encouraged by what they saw at Anfield last week. We were encouraged rather than disappointed by [the] performance at Liverpool. We were always in the game and always a threat."
HOLLOWAY: "We want to score our first goal and get a point on the board, people will start taking notice of us when things start happening. We must never go into these games with a negative attitude, but going to Stoke will be a tough, tough fixture. We will be positive though. I think we did really well as a team [last week] and can take positives from the game against a side like Tottenham."
Today's match odds: Stoke 10/11, Crystal Palace 15/4, Draw 5/2
It will be a close game today if the statistics are anything to go by. Stoke have had trouble scoring at home of late, netting just three times in their last six, while Palace are pretty poor on the road. They picked up only 35% of their points from away games last season.
With these figures in mind, I am predicting a 0-0 draw today. Both sides will be determined to keep a clean sheet after losing their openers, and I don't think either will find a way through. Let's hope I'm wrong about that, though.
Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic
is one to watch today. He was absolutely magnificent against Liverpool last weekend, pulling off a string of impressive stops to keep the scoreline down. Palace certainly have their work cut out trying to put one past him today.
Just under 10 minutes to go until kickoff now. There's a good crowd here at the Britannia Stadium and they're in fine voice this afternoon.
The two teams are coming out of the tunnel now. Mark Hughes
gets a great reception from the home faithful.
KICKOFF: Stoke City get us underway, kicking from right to left and sporting their trademark red and white stripes. Palace are in all black.
Stoke are the first to venture deep into their opponents' half. Puncheon gets his first touch as a Palace player, putting the ball out for an early throw-in to the Potters.
More pressure from Stoke, dealt with by a combination of Dikagcoi and Jedinak, who are shielding the Palace back line. The home side have done all of the early pressing but created nothing of substance.
SHOT! The home side claim the first shot on target as a blocked effort from Walters ricochets into the path of Adam. He lets fly from 20 yards, but directs his attempt straight at Speroni.
Palace have managed to get Chamakh into the game now. He has just surged past two Stoke defenders, showing off his strength. The Potters back line eventually closes him down and clears its lines before he can pick out Gale.
Stoke have just won three corners in quick succession. Etherington took the latter two, his crosses causing a scramble inside the Palace box, but the pressure dies down as an offside flag goes up.
GREAT TACKLE: Delaney rushes back and times a slide tackle to perfection to deny Walters a one-on-one goalscoring opportunity. He had to time that challenge to perfection as he was the last man.
SHOT: Palace have their first shot on target following a speedy break. Gayle gives his marker the slip and races into the box, his shot failing to trouble the ever-reliable Begovic, who makes a comfortable save.
PENALTY TURNED DOWN: Campana finds Ward in the Stoke box with a long ball. He goes down under a challenge from Etherington, who appeared to lean into the Palace man. Ward appeals for a penalty, but there referee isn't interested. I think he should feel hard done by there. You seem those given all the time!
CHANCE! Pieters and Etherington exchange passes wide on the last and the latter swings in a measured cross that finds Crouch in front of goal. It was a wonderful delivery, but the giant striker directs his header too high.
N’Zonzi clips Puncheon with a late challenge to gift Palace a free kick. Campana floats a cross into the box that Jedinak heads towards goal. Begovic makes a simple catch.
It's been a tense game here at the Britannia Stadium. Stoke have had the best chances, but Palace have threatened intermittently. Neither side is looking particularly clinical in front of goal, though.
Crouch has been on the deck receiving treatment after a clash of heads. He is back on his feet now and ready to continue.
Cameron plays a long ball into the box towards Adam. He attempts to latch onto into but the pass was just too long for him. He spills it out for a Palace goalkick.
GOAL! Stoke City 0-1 Crystal Palace (Chamakh)
Chamakh fires Palace ahead on his first start for the club. Terrible defending by Stoke, Shawcross allowing Delaney's searching ball to bounce into the path of the Palace strike. He takes it down, turns inside the box and fires a low effort past Begovic into the bottom corner.
CHANCE! Agonisingly close to a Stoke equaliser as Crouch's towering header from Adam's cross comes back off the frame of the goal, hitting Speroni on its way down. The Palace defence scramble the loose ball away.
BOOKING! Shawcross is the first player to go into the book this afternoon for a foul on Gayle. It has not been a good game for him so far.
SHOT! Campana has a crack from the resultant free kick. It clears the wall and only just creeps over Begovic's crossbar. Well hit from the young Spaniard.
Adam hits one from long range, allowing Speroni to make an easy catch. It was hard to tell whether than was intended to be a cross or a shot, but it failed to trouble the Palace goalkeeper either way.
HALF TIME: Stoke City 0-1 Crystal Palace
Palace lead Stoke by one goal to nil at half time following an impressive striker from Chamakh. The Potters almost hit back immediately through a Peter Crouch header, but it has otherwise been 45 minutes of forgettable football from them.
Palace will feel they should have had a penalty in the 18th minute when Etherington brought down Ward in the box. I wonder what Holloway will have to say about that? Probably very little following that FA charge!
KICKOFF: We are back under way here at the Britannia Stadium. Stoke have 45 minutes to turn this game around. They will need to get more support up there to the isolated figure of Crouch to do that!
Stoke win an early corner, which Etherington swings in towards Crouch. It was a perfect cross from the winger. I'm not sure how the former Liverpool man scuffed his header there. I think he lost his footing.
Delaney has just keeled over in pain all of a sudden. It looked like he had pulled a muscle there, but he is back on the pitch after a brief visit to the sidelines. Perhaps it was just cramp.
Stoke win yet another corner. This time Etherington's cross falls to Nzonzi on the edge of the box. He lets fly from there but it sails harmlessly wide.
CHANCE! Walters latches onto a long ball and gets a good yard away from his marker. He bears down on goal but the pressure goes to his head as he lets fly, his effort ending up in the stand.
A good spell of extended pressure here from Stoke. They have been quickest off the starting blocks in this second half and the crowd is responding in kind.
Campana with a nice piece of trickery in the final third there. He appeals for handball against Shawcross, but the referee correctly rules that it was unintentional.
GOAL! Stoke City 1-1 Crystal Palace (Adam)
Stoke's newly-found urgency pays off as Charlie Adam
curles a low shot into the back of the net after the Palace defence fails to deal with a Walters cross. Poor defending from the visitors, but this is not less than Stoke deserve.
Adam had a pot shot from the edge of the box that flies straight into the arms of Speroni. He is obviously brimming with confidence following that goal.
GOAL! Stoke City 2-1 Crystal Palace (Shawcross)
Ryan Shawcross may have been at fault for Palace's opener, but all is surely forgiven now he has put them in front. The ball ends up at the defender's feet inside the box following more confusion among the Palace backline, and he guides one into the bottom corner.
CHANCE! Adam gives the ball away and it eventually finds its way to Puncheon, who goes from goal from 20 yards. He got plenty of power behind that, and it almost caught out Begovic and rolled over the line. You can't come much closer than that!
The Potters have been rejuvenated in this second half. Mark Hughes must have delivered one hell of a half-time teamtalk. Kevin Phillips is warming up for Palace now as they look to boost their attacking options.
SUBSTITUTION: Pennant has replaced Etherington for Stoke as Hughes reshuffles his midfield.
A dangerous first-time cross from Cameron on the right causes panic inside the Palace box. It can't quite find Crouch in front of goal but does result in a corner for the hosts. Pennant takes but his cross is headed clear.
OFF THE POST! The Palace defence fails to deal with another lofted pass, allowing Nzonzi to gain possession from the edge of the box. He unleashes a blistering effort which flies beyond the reach of Speroni and comes crashing back off the upright. Unlucky!
SUBSTITUTIONS: Veteran striker Kevin Phillips has replaced Phillips for Palace. Whelan replaced Adam for Stoke moments earlier.
Gayle takes Dikgacoi's cross on the volley, but it goes well wide. It was an excellent delivery and the striker demonstrated good technique there, but it missed the target by some distance.
Palace have struggled to gain a foothold in this game in the second period. They have few clear-cut chances and only really tested Begovic once, through Puncheon. Stoke haven't completed the job yet, though.
Jedinak thumps a free kick against the Stoke wall. I think it was Pennant that it struck. Stoke have now made their final substitution, bringing on Jerome for Crouch in a like-for-like change.
Walters is down on the ground and looks in some discomfort. Begovic hoists the ball into touch so his teammate can receive treatment. Looks like he will soldier on, though. Palace restart play and return the ball to Stoke.
Palace attempt a last-ditch attack as Gayle finds Moxey over on the left. He floats in a cross but Begovic jumps highest and claims. The fourth official has just indicated that there will be four minutes of stoppage time.
CHANCE! Jerome surges into the box and goes for goal, his effort coming off a Palace player before going behind. Whelan was calling for it, but he went it alone. The corner comes to nothing.
FULL TIME: Stoke City 2-1 Crystal Palace
It's all over here at the Britannia Stadium where a purposeful second-half performance from Stoke has given them all three points in Mark Hughes's first home game in charge. It's back-to-back defeats for Ian Holloway
's Crystal Palace.
That's all from me this afternoon, many thanks for joining Sports Mole for this Premier League clash.