Stoke currently have 34 points, just four off the relegation zone, and host an Aston Villa side who are desperate to step out of the bottom three.
Potters skipper Shawcross admitted: "It's a season-defining game now on Saturday.
"It's massive and hopefully we can push on after that. We have a target of 40 points which is still achievable.
"We lost at Everton last week and that put us in a difficult position."