May 20 2013 Latest news:
By Daniel Smith
Friday, January 4, 2013
Crystal Palace blogger Daniel Smith looks ahead to Saturday’s FA Cup clash at Selhurst Park.
Name: Daniel Smith
Twitter handle: @dmsmith1987
Season Ticket Holder
Favourite player: Glenn Murray
Most memorable game: Brighton 1 Palace 3 (2011-12)
Predicted finish: Mid-table
Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie against Stoke may not be top priority for the team or many fans, but it does come at a good time for Palace.
Manager Ian Holloway confirmed this week what everyone suspected, that the FA Cup is not the main focus with the Eagles sitting third in the Championship.
Discussion amongst the Selhurst faithful has centred on what players Holloway should start with. Do we go for it as a test against a Premier League team? Or do we use it as an opportunity to rest key players?
It is likely to be a little from column A and a little from column B but another key topic of discussion of this tie is what it can do for the team as a whole.
Having had a challenging, congested December that saw Palace win only one of the six games they played, drawing four and letting a lead slip in five, this game against the Potters has come at a good time.
Even if some of the first teamers are not rested, the game will in no way carry the pressure that comes from currently competing for promotion in the Championship. Therefore the team will be able to play with more freedom and importantly get a break from that pressure.
These are of course professionals, but it is always nice to be able to get a break from the week-in week-out battle to return to the Premier League. Not competing for points could benefit the creative aspects of the squad.
This could refresh the team for when they return to league action the following week. In the long-run it could be very beneficial to the Eagles’ season.
The thought of a cup-run is attractive to the supporters, but given the position the club is currently in it is reassuring to see that the management and board are fully aware of where the priorities lie.