Crystal Palace have the chance to progress through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup tonight if they manage to beat Championship side Stoke City at Selhurst Park.
In terms of which players Eagles boss Patrick Vieira will have at his disposal for the match, the Frenchman revealed in his pre-match press conference that right-back Joel Ward will still not be available to play after missing their three previous league games through injury.
With that in mind, here’s how we feel Palace will line up tonight, with five changes anticipated from the team which started against Burnley on Saturday.
In defence, we think the only change Vieira will make from the back four which started against Sean Dyche’s side will see Martin Kelly come in to replace Nathaniel Clyne at right-back, after the 31-year-old made his only senior appearance this season in their previous FA Cup game against Hartlepool United last month.
In midfield, we expect a couple of changes taking place. Will Hughes and Cheikhou Kouyate coming in for Luka Milivojevic – who is currently picking up £80k-per-week according to Salary Sport but lasted only an hour on Saturday before being substituted – and James McArthur. That leaves Conor Gallagher as the only midfielder to keep his place in the team from the weekend.
For the front three, we can see Eberechi Eze getting a chance to show what he can do after being in the starting XI for both of Palace’s previous FA Cup games in the hope that he can get his first goal or assist of the season. He replaces Jeffrey Schlupp on the left, with Michael Olise starting on the right and Wilfried Zaha through the middle.