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Premier League

  • 27 April 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: A. Taylor
  • • Attendance: 27488
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Stoke City - Norwich City Preview: Both clubs continue quest to power through 40-point barrier

Under-pressure Potters boss Tony Pulis knows his side can stave off any lingering relegation fears with victory over the Canaries, whose top-flight status is still far from secure

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

STOKE CITY

Begovic
Shotton, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson 
Kightly, Whelan, N'Zonzi, Adam, Walters
Crouch

NORWICH CITY

Bunn
Martin, Bassong, R Bennett, Garrido
E Bennett, Johnson, Tettey, Snodgrass
Hoolahan 
Holt

Stoke winger Matthew Etherington could feature against Norwich after shaking off a niggling back injury acquired in the first half of the home clash with Aston Villa earlier in April.

Midfielder Charlie Adam and striker Cameron Jerome (both ankle) will have their fitness assessed before kick-off, but defender Marc Wilson looks set to miss out after straining his hamstring against QPR.

Norwich boss Chris Hughton has already confirmed centre back Michael Turner won't make the trip to the Britannia Stadium after picking up a groin injury that forced him off against Reading last week.

With his defensive options depleted Hughton has decided to recall Leon Barnett from his loan spell at Championship winners Cardiff, and also revealed Ryan Bennett's FA misconduct charge won't impact on his availability after he became embroiled in a heated argument with supporters on Twitter.

John Ruddy and Steven Whittaker (both knee) are fit to return but Andrew Surman will miss the remainder of the season.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Stoke have managed only six wins at the Britannia Stadium this term - the first time they have failed to reach double figures by April since they won promotion to the top-flight.
  • The Potters have managed to score just 12 times from open play this season, which is the worst in the division. 
  • Norwich have won eight league games this term but have never done so by more than a one-goal margin (three 1-0's, four 2-1's and one 4-3).
  • 19% of the 53 goals Chris Hughton's men have shipped in the league this season have come bewteen the 60th and 70th minute.
  • Joint leading scorer Grant Holt had three times as many goals (15) at the same period last term than he does in the current campaign (5).

Players to watch

P. Crouch

Position: Attacker

Games: 20

  • 4
  • 3
  • 0
Although its been an up-and-down season for the Stoke hitman he produced arguably his best performance of the campaign to guide Tony Pulis' troops to a crucial victory at QPR last week. 

Crouch has struggled to find the net this term but his first goal since late-January set the Potters on their way to a massive three-points and he lead the line with an unflinching authority, against Christopher Samba no less. More of the same will be expected against Norwich on Saturday.

B. Johnson

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Having racked up more pitch time than any other Norwich player this season (2,892 minutes) Johnson has proven himself a pillar of consistency in the midfield engine room for Chris Hughton.

The 25-year-old has enjoyed an excellent, if understated, campaign at Carrow Road and the Canaries will require his unrelenting work ethic and tenacity in the middle of the park if they're to leave the Britannia Stadium with more than just bumps and bruises.

Editor's Prediction

Both teams enjoyed morale boosting victories last weekend, but home advantage will undoubtedly give Stoke the edge when Norwich make the daunting trip to the Britannia Stadium. Chris Hughton's men have managed just one win and 13 goals in 17 matches on the road this season and should endure more away day misery against a revitalised Potters side.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Stoke City

Norwich City

Wins
2
1
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
Stoke City FC Stoke City
Draw
Norwich City FC NOR
Norwich City FC Norwich City
47%
29%
24%

Top 3 Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
2 - 1
Norwich City FC NOR
Stoke City FC STO
1 - 1
Norwich City FC NOR
Stoke City FC STO
1 - 0
Norwich City FC NOR

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