Only time will tell how much Fulham will live to regret the two late goals conceded to Hull City last weekend.
The Whites were 2-0 up with 75 minutes of the action played at Craven Cottage when Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long, three minutes from full time, struck to deny them vital points in their battle against the drop.
Felix Magath's side have still picked up seven points from a possible 12 to stay within one point of safety, but a survival campaign ignited by consecutive wins over Aston Villa and Norwich City is threatening to fall short due to their failure to correct long-standing defensive problems.
Their total of 79 goals conceded is by far the worst in the Premier League and sloppy mistakes at the back have cost them against both Tottenham Hotspur and Hull, recent matches in which they given accomplished performances in all but one area.
It is too late for Magath to make radical changes in personnel, but it remains to be seen whether the German, an experienced escapologist across Europe, sticks with a 3-5-2 formation or reverts to 4-5-1.
Iranian winger Ashkan Dejagah, who scored off the bench against the Tigers to take his tally to four goals in nine games, may be used as an impact substitute again as Fulham set up to frustrate a Stoke side known for keeping the ball under Mark Hughes.
Hughes spent one successful year at Fulham before a failed spell at Queens Park Rangers, but he is now rebuilding his managerial reputation at the Potters, who could still achieve some Premier League bests.
They have not finished in the top half in six seasons since their promotion in 2008, and currently sit 10th, while two wins from their final two games will be enough to set a record-high points total.
Marc Muniesa could be asked to deputise, with Erik Pieters returning to play at left-back. Jonathan Walters, Charlie Adam and Oussama Assaidi are all pushing for recalls in the attacking midfield positions.
There will be no Britannia Stadium sendoff for Matthew Etherington, who intends to end his five-year spell with the club in the summer, but is sidelined this weekend with a serious muscle strain.
Fulham could be relegated this weekend, if they lose and both of Norwich and Sunderland are winners.
Possible starting lineups
Stoke: Begovic; Cameron, Wilson, Muniesa, Pieters; Whelan, N'Zonzi; Arnautovic, Adam, Odemwingie; Crouch
Fulham: Stockdale; Heitinga, Hangeland, Amorebieta; Riether, Diarra, Sidwell, Parker, Riise; Holtby, Rodallega
Sports Mole says: 1-1