Joe Allen: Sobhi will be a big player for the club

Joe Allen: Sobhi will be a big player for the club”

Palace lost 1-0 at Stoke on Saturday but manager Sam Allardyce did get a response to the 4-0 thumping by Sunderland a week earlier.

However, they lacked an attacking threat and were undone by a cool finish from the Wales worldwide in the 67th minute. Glen Johnson (Achilles) returns to the bench and Ramadan Sobhi comes in to start after coming back from African Cup of Nations duty.

It's been a rough season for Sam Allardyce.

Joe Allen eventally grabbed the victor midway through the second half but Palace had too many players on the field who seemed afraid of making mistakes and consequently Stoke were rarely threatened.

"We have Patrick [van Aanholt] at left-back as well, which we haven't had all season, and Schluppy [Jeffrey Schlupp] who can play there as well".

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The winger made a rare start after returning from worldwide duty with Egypt and made a fine impact, causing constant menace to Crystal Palace's defenders with his trickery down the left.

"The message is getting there", Allardyce added. "I've got to stop that as quickly as possible". The winger was in the right place to clear a header from the unmarked Martins Indi off the line.

Stoke finally broke the visitors' resistance, though. It was a good ball from him after Marko Arnautovic had played a great ball over the top.

James Tomkins had a chance to pull Palace level but blazed over from Jason Puncheon's flick-on on the left-hand side of the box - taking a touch and providing a cross may have been more beneficial for his team.

Today second-bottom Palace will attempt boost their survival hopes at Stoke - but the manager knows they must improve performances in their own backyard if they are to stay up.

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