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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Owen In The Frame

TONY PULIS has confirmed that he will make several changes to his starting line up for this weekend's FA Cup 3rd Round tie against Crystal Palace . . . and has hinted at a possible inclusion in the side for Michael Owen.

The former England hit-man has been used sparingly during his first four months at the Britannia Stadium, however, he could be in line to make his first start for the Club at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Owen, who made the switch to the Potteries from Manchester United in the summer, has enjoyed two full weeks of training over the festive period, and Pulis says he will come into consideration for the clash with the Eagles.

"Michael will definitely travel down with us and he will be in the squad," he said at the pre-match press conference on Thursday.

"He has had two or three weeks of full training behind him now and he has trained well. He has also had a couple of games behind closed doors too, which have been important for him.

"He is as fit as he has been at any point during his time here, so we will take a look at things over the next 24 hours and decide what we are going to do with the team."

Pulis added: "We will make changes for one or two different reasons, but I will put a team out which is strong, and is capable of getting the result that we want."

The likes of Thomas Sorensen, Matthew Upson and Wilson Palacios will all be hoping to feature at Selhurst Park having found first team opportunities limited so far this season.

One player who will definitely miss the trip down to the capital though is Rory Delap, after he suffered a setback in his rehabilitation back from a calf injury.

There was positive news on Marc Wilson, however, with Pulis confirming that the Republic of Ireland international is just a couple of weeks away from returning to training, having missed the past two months with a broken leg.

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