PETER CROUCH believes that Stoke City have the "perfect opportunity" to secure a morale-boosting result when they face champions elect Manchester United in the live televised encounter at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday.
The form book would suggest that Sir Alex Ferguson's side will take another decisive step towards claiming their 13th Premier League title, but Crouch feels that will lift the pressure on the Potters as they aim to turn their season around.
The England striker is relishing the prospect of a big game against the Premier League leaders and knows his team-mates will do too.
"In my opinion, it's probably the perfect game for us because people are going to write us off," said Crouch, who scored his first goal for the Club in the 1-1 draw against the Red Devils at the Britannia Stadium last season.
"When that has been the case in the past, we have more often than not answered those critics and picked up decent results.
"You could say that one of our strengths is playing in games when nobody really gives us a sniff.
"When big teams come here we always seem to raise our game, and hopefully the crowd will be right behind us again because they really do help us."
He added: "If we can get the result that we believe we are capable of, then it will give us a great amount of confidence to take into the final five games of the season."
The 32-year-old acknowledges the Club now finds itself in a tense relegation battle, but he is convinced that there is more than enough character and quality within the squad to climb away from danger.
"We are undoubtedly good enough to stay in this League because we have done that over the past few years, and in many cases looked to be good enough to challenge for a top eight or a top ten spot," he added.
"For whatever reason, we are down there at the moment though, but I am convinced that we have the characters and the quality in the dressing room to dig ourselves out of it."