TONY PULIS handed a number of players the opportunity to step up for FA Cup action when Stoke City took on Championship high-flyers Crystal Palace.
Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, midfield pair Dean Whitehead and Michael Kightly and striker Peter Crouch were all called up for the third round replay.
While Asmir Begovic was once again rested to allow Sorensen to resume his cup duties for the meeting with Ian Holloway’s side, Glenn Whelan, Charlie Adam and Kenwyne Jones all dropped to the substitutes’ bench to accommodate the changes.
Michael Owen returned to the matchday squad and was one of three strikers on the bench along with Jones and Cameron Jerome.
Palace boss Ian Holloway also made several changes, although highly-rated striker Wilfried Zaha, the subject of much transfer speculation, was in his line-up.
Those left on the bench included leading scorer Glenn Murray, winger Yannick Bolassie and Brazilian star Andre Moritz.
City: Sorensen, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson, Kightly, Whitehead, Nzonzi, Etherington, Walters, Crouch. Subs: Nash, Whelan, Jones, Owen, Adam, Upson, Jerome .
Palace: Price, Parsons, Ramage, Delaney, Gabbidon, Zaha, Jedinak, Williams, Easter, Boateng, Wilbraham. Subs: Speroni, Bolassie, Murray, Moxey, Moritz, Wynter, Taylor.
Referee: A. Taylor